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Gender disparity a big concern

(China Daily)

09:45, June 05, 2013

The rising number sexual assaults on girl students in schools have triggered a heated discussion on teachers' professional ethics. An article in Southern Metropolis Daily asks whether the gender crisis in Chinese society is to blame for the increase in sexual abuse in schools. Excerpts:

Violation of women's rights is at the root of the sexual assaults on women. The impact of advertisements, the Internet and the media are also responsible for the rising incidences of sexual attacks on women and girls.

Chinese society is still patriarchal, and this is primarily to be blamed for the gender crisis in the country. Couples yearn for a male child because women are still considered inferior to men in China. As a result, China's gender ratio is among the most skewed in the world. It is estimated that by 2020, China will have 30 to 40 million unwed men, which could lead to serious social problems.

Affluent, politically successful, well-known and highly educated men are quite popular in the "marriage market", while those at the grassroots level, especially in rural and underdeveloped areas, are considered unsuitable. This makes things difficult for not-so-well-off men to find a life partner and leads to social tension.

There is still great disparity between Chinese men and women when it comes to income, labor division, resource sharing and participation in politics. And with commercialization and the increasing portrayal of women as objects in many advertisements and events, men have started seeing them as soft targets to satisfy their lust. We still have a long way to go before establishing real gender equality and giving women their rightful place in society.

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