The Communist Party of China, under the presidency of Xi Jinping, has been driving women away from power and abandoning traditional gestures towards equality. Chinese officials described that China’s path has historically been framed around mainstreaming gender egalitarianism. According to media reports, Johanna Costigan, a junior fellow at the Center for China Analysis at the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York, told Nikkei Asia that the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China last month broke tradition by elevating 24 men and no women were named in the party’s Politburo, omitting its usual female symbol for the first time in 25 years. Women held only 11 of the 205 seats in the party’s new Central Committee.
‘No women’ in Xi Jinping’s CCP
In Xi’s CCP, the main determinants of officials’ promotion prospects are loyalty and usefulness to the top leader, which are given more importance than qualifications or affirmative action style standards. According to Johanna Costigan, the party leader no longer feels obligated towards gender equality. Yaqiu Wang, a senior researcher at the US campaign group Human Rights Watch, said: “I never thought the CCP really cared about women’s rights, but at least they paid lip service, in part by putting women in positions of power. select”. In addition, he added that the emancipation of women is part of the founding ideology of communism. As Nikkei Asia reported, Xi’s ideological directives have been picking and choosing aspects of that founding ideology, conveniently ignoring socialist feminism, which supports equal rights for women and advocates for women’s political participation. Xi has invoked Marxist principles to justify policy positions such as “common prosperity.”
For China, the party needs to have a clear definition of what it thinks is and isn’t Chinese. The Chinese Communist Party’s anti-feminist stance has succeeded in crafting a clear definition of gender roles within the family and society. China has implemented policies that affirm traditional values, including cracking down on tutoring, restricting media portrayals of “effeminate men” and limiting the types of products, celebrities and influencers they can promote. Costigan mentioned that amendments to the women’s rights law adopted last month included nice language prohibiting discrimination, sexual assault, kidnapping and trafficking in women, but enforcement by women’s rights advocates the woman is unequal. Xi’s CCP claimed that there are an “appropriate number” of women in leadership positions within state bodies, but the reality of that “appropriate number” appears to be zero. The CCP’s anti-feminist stance goes hand in hand with its attempts to suppress ethnic minority cultures.