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Lawmakers mull regulation to boost job opportunities for women
Latest Updated by 2007-01-26 10:58:20
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South China's Guangzhou municipality is mulling a regulation that seeks to widen job opportunities for women by outlawing "males only" restrictions in job vacancies, according to a bill submitted to the municipal people's congress.

The bill, proposed by Li Jin, a congress representative and president of the Guangzhou Municipal Women's Federation, and other women's rights advocates, said employers will face a maximum fine of 5,000 yuan (about 641 U.S. dollars) if they impose gender restrictions on jobs that women are capable of doing.

Li said although the national regulation stipulates that some heavy-labor jobs like mining are not suitable for women, "males only" or "males preferred" restrictions have been abused by employers.

The restrictions are an outrageous infringement on women's rights, Li said. But others are sceptical about whether the law will make much difference in practice.

Wu Changzhen, vice president of the Beijing Women's Federation, said even if women apply, employers can come up with many pretexts to avoid hiring them.

According to a survey carried out by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, over 67 percent of employers have prevented women from applying for certain positions.

Most employers do not want to hire women due to concerns that marriage and pregnancy will affect their job performance, said Yang Yansui, director of the Employment and Social Security Research Center of Tsinghua University.

It will take a lot more efforts, including regulations and awareness campaigns, to eliminate discrimination against women, Yang said.

Apart from trying to remove gender barriers in employment, the bill includes clauses to protect women from sexual harassment and domestic violence.

The bill is under discussion in the local people's congress.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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