Q. 2

Trace the changes in the role of women seen in China over the decades. Why is it similar or different from that of USSR and Germany?

Answer :

China can be divided into feudal, colonial, communist, semi-feudal, semi-colonial periods. The women, for no doubt, were inferior in all fields of life. Until the end of 19th-century women-conditions were intolerable in social, economic, political and family life.

To trace the changes in the role of women in China, it is important to know the women status before and after the 19th century.


Women in China- Before the 19th century


a) "Women with bound feet" was a compulsory custom for the female gender in China.


b) Small bound feet were considered beautiful while large unbound feet were judged crude in China and girls went through severe pain both mentally and physically throughout the process.


c) Most of the women were preys in the systems of polygamy and prostitution


d) Majority of them were exposed to physical and mental torture, being harassed by family.


e) They had no social roles as they had no political rights.


f) They were not economically independent and had no source of income.


g) They had no right in property and inheritance


h) They totally depended upon father, brother, husband or sons throughout their life.


By the beginning of the 20th century, the Chinese communist party started a democratic revolution in China. The autocratic monarchy that had ruled China for over 2,000 years was overthrown in 1911 and led to the establishment of the Republic of China. The 1911 Revolution emancipated Chinese women.


Women in China- After the 19th-century


a) Large-scale women's emancipation movement was launched.


b) This historic liberation of Chinese women won worldwide attention.


c) A succession of movements was launched for women's liberation.


d) Chinese women waged a fearless struggle that lasted for over a century.


e) A series of policies on sexual equality was implemented.


f) The Reform Movement of 1898 leads the way to ban feet binding and establish schools for women.


g) The 1911 Revolution helped to start a feminist movement which fixed on equal rights for men and women and participation by women in political affairs.


h) These movements promoted the awakening of Chinese women.


i) Nevertheless, they all failed to bring about a fundamental change in their miserable plight as victims of oppression and enslavement.


When compared to the life of women in Russia, Chinese women were not at all extroverts in their social lives.


a) the experiences of women in Russia are significantly different across ethnic, racial, religious, and social lines.


b) The life of an ethnic Russian woman can be very different from the life of an urban, semi-urban woman because Russia is a multicultural society.


c) Women of eighteenth-century Russia were luckier than their European counterparts.


d) By the mid-nineteenth century, European notions of equality took a role in Russian women.


e) The Russian revolution in 1917 made important changes in the status of women.


f) Women in Soviet Russia became a vital part of the recruitment into the workforce, education sector, personal development, and training by the 20th century.


g) They were a vital part in the armed force in world war second.


h) The common historical and political context makes women in Russia more political beings, in general.


When compared to women in Germany, Chinese women share similar situations


a) German women struggled for economic independence and social equality even in the 20th century


b) The German revolution in 1918-1919 helped in women liberation.


c) Industrialization resulted in an increase in the number of female workers.


d) Labour shortage in the second world allowed German female workers to break into previously male-only occupations like driving and metalworking


In short, The struggle for women to conquer their own group was part of a long historical process. The empowerment of women and their elevated social status were by revolutions and social reform movements in China, Germany, and Russia. It varies in a few prospects depending upon the cultural and geographical differences.


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