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Labour exploitation and gender inequality: the human cost of Chinese production

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

Women in China have faced decades of labour exploitation, being forced to endure long working hours, wage discrimination, sexual harassment, and lack of labour and union rights.

Due to gender discrimination and the lack of legal and social protection, Chinese women are prone to being exploited both in their work and personal environments, being forced to be in jobs that dehumanize them.

In most factories in China, women occupy jobs that require fine manual skills, such as sewing or packaging electronics. These types of jobs are often repetitive and strenuous, and they are often forced to work long hours to meet inhumane production deadlines.

Chinese women aren’t allowed to do work that is socially seen as man jobs, since they consider that there are certain trades that are not suitable for a woman. In addition, they are pressured to dedicate themselves to housework, cleaning or cooking; jobs in which they cannot express themselves freely. Furthermore, even if they do the same job as a man, they often receive lower wages because they do not have access to employment benefits or social security.

One of the biggest problems facing workers in China is the lack of labour and union rights. They do not have a great ability to negotiate wages and working conditions jousting because the Chinese economic model is largely based on large-scale production and competitiveness of costs, and often face reprisals if they try to unionize or protest against the abuses of power exercised by their bosses.

China's restrictive government legislation and policies limit labour and trade union rights, completely controlling workers' organizations and prohibiting strikes or demonstrations. When workers try to protest against their abusive work conditions, they face reprisals that can lead to their dismissal and even persecution by the authorities.

Due to gender discrimination, women often face barriers and gender stereotypes that limit their ability to advance in their careers and negotiate fair wages and benefits.

That is why it is crucial that China's labour law gets reformed, ensuring greater protection for the rights of workers, and greater gender equality in the workplace, avoiding inhuman wages and abuses.

To address this problem, increased awareness and support is needed to stop gender discrimination in the workplace and ensure that women have the same employment opportunities and protections as men.

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