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China New Era Women's School Teaches Traditional Roles

China New Era Women's School Teaches Traditional Roles

Women practice a dance routine outside residential community meeting during a media tour highlighting the Communist Party's efforts at the grassroots level in Beijing, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 June 2018 10:18 AM

In China, the New Era Women's School is teaching its female students traditional roles, with lessons including how to sit, dress and pour tea, so that it can cultivate "perfect" women in the time of President Xi Jinping, The Washington Post reported.

These lessons are being taught in a course launched for only female students earlier this year in southern China by the Zhenjiang College and the All-China Women's Federation.

Sheng Jie, who runs the program, said that the university launched the New Era Women's School in response to Xi's call for education in traditional Chinese culture.

She said that, while the course aimed to help women compete in the job market, it also set about preparing them for domestic roles because in China, a woman's family role "is more important now."

The Human Rights Watch recently reported that China ranked 100th out of 144 countries for gender parity, falling for nine consecutive years since 2008, when it ranked 57th. The country ranked 105th when it came to female representation among legislators, senior officials and managers.

Sophie Richardson of Human Rights Watch noted that biased views that women are less intellectually capable than men or that a woman's place is in the home, contributed to the lack of women in top jobs.

"These views hinder women's professional advancement even before they enter the workforce," she wrote on the organization's website.

Driving this point home, the Human Rights Watch reported that gender discrimination in the China workforce was widespread, with many hiring advertisements openly calling only for male applicants and using the attractiveness of female co-workers as a draw.

BBC recently reported that a number of education centers teaching women to be "virtuous" were springing up across China.

There was backlash when news broke that "female virtues" were being taught to women in a traditional cultural institute in Fushun city in northern China however, the traditional roles continue to be taught to women throughout the country.

Duan Fengyan is a 21-year-old student who is taking classes at the New Era Women's School while studying to be an accountant, and one of her recent lessons touched upon how a woman should sit, The Washington Post noted.

"You must sit on the front two-thirds of the chair - you cannot occupy the whole chair," she said. "Now, hold in your belly, relax your shoulders, legs together, shoulders up."

Commenting on this, Leta Hong Fincher, author of "Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China" said that the direction of the future is that "women are supposed to play the role of wife and mother in the home."

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Chinese women are learning traditional roles at the New Era Women's School that aims to cultivate "perfect" women in the time of President Xi Jinping.
china, new era, women, school
Tuesday, 26 June 2018 10:18 AM
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