What is life like for women in China? Do men and women receive equal treatment? Are women happy?
Tavis posed all of those questions to Zhang Hui of the Beijing-based Horizon Research Consultancy Group, a leading pollster and market-research firm that has done research on quality of life in China.
Her answers might surprise you. Check out excerpts of the conversation below.
TAVIS: So in terms of equality, how good is the balance? Is your balance in China good for men and women on equality?
ZHANG HUI: Chinese women’s status has improved rapidly including the family status, economic status and social status. Women have equal rights to education and full employment…In China, in some cities, women’s family status is higher than [their] husbands’.
TS: Where are the greatest challenges for women? Where are women still having the most difficulty?
ZH: The big difficulty for women is how to balance their family and their career.
TS: How are women doing that? How do women balance family, career and taking care of their elderly parents?
ZH: Women have to work harder and sacrifice more in career. They just have to sacrifice more, make more effort to balance it.
TS: Are women in China happy? What does your research tell you?
ZH: Happy is very subjective. They’re very cheerful. Are women happy or are men happy? I think it’s a very interesting question…Our research is that women are happier than men…I don’t want to jump to a conclusion. Maybe men have men’s happiness and women have women’s happiness…
TS: Historically, Chinese prefer boys over girls. Is that still the case or is that changing?
ZH: In the past, Chinese people had the deep-rooted opinion that they prefer boys to girls. But now…it’s different totally. The opinion that the girls are as good as boys is accepted widely.
TS: Tell me. How hopeful are you about the future of women in China?
ZH: [I'm] hopeful because we have the equal right to education…Chinese women’s status has improved rapidly. And the employment rate of men and women are very close.