Gender Roles in Economics

There is a clear-cut sexual division of labor that is organized around a notion of complementary. In rural China women were and are busy all day—cooking food, drawing water, pounding rice, minding the farm, serving their mother-in law, suckling babies (Mann, 2002, p. 109). In the north, there is seasonal work. In the summer women sell produce in the local markets, while the men harvest the crop. In the winter most of the sellers in the produce market are men. In south China, which has three growing seasons a year, women work in the rice paddies as well as in the produce markets, small clothing shops, or restaurants. Most long-distance traders are men, though there are unmarried groups of females who sell various products. If married women participate, it is usually with their husbands who will be staying in a particular location for a considerable length of time.

Recently, many rural young women who want to increase their autonomy have migrated to other regions. Most of the young factory workers (commonly referred to as maiden workers) in south China are women (Lee, 1998). Throughout China the majority of shop assistants, waiters and waitresses, and hotel employees are rural migrants. Urban women and men generally refuse to take what they considered demeaning jobs. Instead, they hope to obtain a position in a state-run enterprise or work in an upmarket business.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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