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Workplace inequality widespread in China

SEXUAL discrimination in workplace is widespread in China with one in four female job seekers denied employment because of their gender, a study has found.

The research, released by the Center for Women's Law and Legal Services of Peking University, polled 3,000 women over a year and came up with the result after data analysis and in-person interviews, the China Youth Daily reported yesterday.

According to the report, one in 25 of those surveyed were forced to sign labor contracts containing clauses forbidding them to get married or pregnant in a set period of time.

More than 20 percent said employers cut the salaries of women who become pregnant or gave birth, and 11.2 percent lost jobs for having a baby.

Some 28 percent said employers set different criteria in recruitment and women had to perform much better than their male peers in interviews to get the same job.

More than one-third believed male employees had more chances of promotion, and 52.1 percent attributed it to women having to spend more time taking care of their families. The research also found one in 20 women experienced workplace sexual harassment.

"The society needs to foster the idea of gender equality in employment," said Guo Jianmei, director of the center. "But legislation is the most effective way to wipe out discrimination."


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