Job Ads discriminate against women in China: HRW

DHARAMSALA, April 25: Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned and called for an end to the widespread use of gender discriminatory job advertisements by the Chinese government and private Chinese Companies in China.

Sexual objectification of women in a Chinese job ad.

Chinese authorities rarely enforce legal prohibitions against gender discrimination in employment and in advertising, the HRW has said in a report it issued over the prevalent job advertisements that often discriminate against women.

“Nearly one in five job ads for China’s 2018 national civil service called for ‘men only’ or ‘men preferred,’ while major companies like Alibaba have published recruitment ads promising applicants ‘beautiful girls’ as co-workers,” Sophie Richardson, China director at HRW was quoted as saying in the report.

The China director at HRW has further called for an end to the malpractice in China in the 99-page report the international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights has issued.

“Chinese authorities need to act now to enforce existing laws to end government and private hiring practices that blatantly discriminate against women,” Sophie Richardson said in the report.

Global watchdog HRW is said to have analyzed over 36,000 job advertisements posted between 2013 and 2018 on Chinese recruitment and company websites and on social media platforms.

According to the report, many of the ads specify a requirement or preference for men. Some job posts require women to have certain physical attributes – with respect to height, weight, voice, or facial appearance – that are irrelevant to job duties. Others use the physical attributes of companies’ current female employees to attract male applicants.

Though China’s Labor Law and other laws and regulations, as well as the Advertising Law, prohibits and bans gender discrimination in advertising, the report said the non-existence of a clear definition of what constitutes gender discrimination in the law provides few effective enforcement mechanisms

The China director at HRW has said that the job ads discrimination against women shows how deeply entrenched discrimination against women remains in China and called on the Chinese government to combat gender discrimination in the job market and beyond.

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