labour markets

Many improvements in the labor markets over the past few decades have made it possible for women to assume leadership positions. The majority of the measures aim to lessen the predominance of men in managerial positions in both public and private employment. Significant progress has been made, notably in western nations, where there has been an increase in the number of positions reserved for women. Equal employment opportunities for people to work in any position regardless of gender or sex is the most significant accomplishment made so far in the globe (Wu & Guangye 2014, p. 819). However, arriving at this reform took an extended period because of high resistance from male dominated countries. In developing countries such, the policy of equal employment opportunity is only put on blue print but is not practiced by employers. Most of these countries are more tribal and accords high priority on individuals political affiliations and other personal relation that are currently unacceptable. Today, education has unlocked the potential for many people which have ultimately heightened the level of competition in the labour markets (Tiefenbrun 2017). Access to educational opportunities by people irrespective of the sex has significantly helped women to explore their potential and favourably compete in any position in the labour market. The rise of powerful labour unions and activists in the 21st century has further played a critical role in advocating for women. Again, employers no longer base on one aspect but rather use multiple parameters to rate potential workers who can be of more value to organizational success (Zhang et al. 2008, p. 228). Besides, market reforms have an immense impact on women employment and life opportunities in China and other countries in the world (Xie &Xiang 2014, p. 6933). Therefore, this paper explicitly describes some of the reforms and how they affect women in China in the employment arena and life opportunities.

Implication of Market Reforms on Women’s Employment and Life Opportunities

Since before or after the development of China Republic in 1949, a large number of the Chinese women have been discriminated despite Mao Zedong emphasis on equality during the change period from 1949-1976. During this period, Mao Zedong encouraged women to work in different areas with fear of intimidation or negative societal perception which failed to recognize their plight in fostering economic growth and development (Zhang et al. 2008, pp. 226). One of the critical market reforms performed during this era involved legalization of foreign joint venture which apparently opened opportunities for women to become entrepreneurs and professionals (Wu & Guangye 2014, p. 823). Undeniably, entrepreneurship is the back-borne of China’s economy as it offers employment opportunities to a significant number of people across the country and the globe as well. Entrepreneurship stimulates economic development through commerce whereby, producers increases the level of production because of the ready markets (Xie &Xiang 2014, p. 6928). Importantly, opening China economy for joint ventures allowed women to start operating small businesses that indeed change the negative perception about their role. Some of the businesses opened by women flourished and created employment opportunities for others to work as marketers, distributors, and others (Currier 2007, p. 63). Consequently, many women got the chance to learn different roles and this could increase their confidence in management roles (Tiefenbrun 2017). Also, liberalization acted as the eye opener for women to pursue more opportunities brought about by economic reforms. Success in entrepreneurial activities influenced the formation of trade unions which primarily focused on protecting and championing for women rights to withstand unending oppression and discrimination related to employment opportunities.

Moreover, opening China for joint venture led to professionalism which is inherently achieved through work experience as well as exposure to educational opportunities. Now that women were bosses of their own, whereby they operated small businesses and this required some form of professionalism particularly when dealing with customers and enhancing compliance with legal imperatives (Pitt et al. 2010, p. 31). Ultimately, women realized the need of enrolling for management courses in the learning institution to help them uncover more potential and capabilities, improve administrative skills, and further familiarize with professionalism and ethical principles in dealing with clients.

Currently, China’s financial and market reforms aimed at opening its economy to foreign investors brings about myriad benefits and opportunities to women. China is presently committed to moving from high speed to high quality growth which is anticipated to stimulate economic growth and development (Currier 2007, p. 62). China’s market oriented reforms aimed to stablise foreign exchange rates has fundamentally helped financial institutions to support women through provision of loans and allowing creation of job opportunities due to increased foreign investments (Tiefenbrun 2017). Equally, this initiative has enabled the market forces to play a decisive role in enhancing allocation of resources. The government of China is doing all it can within its capabilities to open foreign investment doors wider and further cleaning up practices that deter unified market, stimulate vitality of all types of market entities, and promote fair competition (Zhang et al. 2008, pp. 224). Also, the government of China has been committed at promoting, strengthening, expanding, and improving state capitals towards deepening reforms of developing a mixed-ownership economy and cultivating establishment of globally competitive world-class companies.

It is beyond doubt that these initiatives have many impacts of women employment and life opportunities. First and foremost, opening the economy for foreign investors especially multinationals will come along with best employment practices such as basing on individuals academic qualifications, experience, and intellectual skills during recruitment (Lee 2007, pp. 228). Apparently, consideration of these factors gives equal employment opportunities whereby the right candidate is offered the chance to work in the organization. Most international companies strictly observe legal frameworks established by the government regarding job offers; therefore, opened economy has promoted the entry of many firms which hires accords high priority on equality during the recruitment process (Pitt et al. 2010, p. 29). Moreover, development of strong political and financial institutions has increased the level of support accorded to female entrepreneurs. Flourishing of entrepreneurial activities is grounded on the degree of financial aid given by the banks and existing government policies influencing their operations (Lee 2007, 252). Most of the Chinese women have been assisted by the current regulations attributed to open market economy and close collaboration among the government, social, economic, financial, and other institutions operating in the country.


Tiefenbrun, S. (2017). China's Employment Laws and Their Impact on Women Working in China. UC Davis Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 23, [Online] Available at: Accessed on Dec. 15, 2017.

Pitt, Mark M., Mark R. Rosenzweig, Nazmul, H. (2010). “Human Capital Investment and Gender Division of Labor in a Brawn-Based Economy.” Economics Department Working Paper No. 83. Pp. 28-43

Wu, X.,& Guangye, He. (2014). Changing Ethnic Stratification in Contemporary China. University of Michigan PSC Research Report No. 14, p. 819. 823.

Xie, Yu &Xiang, Z. (2014). Income Inequality in Today’s China.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 111, no. 19, pp. 6928-33.

Zhang, Junsen, Jun Han, Pak-Wai Liu, & Yaohui, Z. (2008). Trends in the Gender Earnings Differential in Urban China: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, vol. 61, pp. 224-43.

Currier, C. L. (2007). Bringing the household back in: Restructuring women’s labor in Beijing. American Journal of Chinese Studies, Vol. 14, pp. 61–81.

Lee, C. K. (2007). Is labor a political force in China? In Grassroots political reform in contemporary China, ed. E. Perry and M. Goldman, pp. 228–252. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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