China moves to reduce workplace gender discrimination

Under new regulations, employers cannot ask female job applicants if they intend to get married or pregnant, or to make them take pregnancy tests.
By: | December 23, 2021

This comes as the country is facing a shrinking labour force and after calls for more gender equality.

The standing committee of the country’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, deliberated a draft amendment to the “Women’s Rights and Interests Protection Law,” state television network CCTV reported.

The draft amendment aims to reduce gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace and provide clarity to the definition of inappropriate behaviour.

Gender discrimination would include restricting female workers from getting married or having children, or if employers explicitly prioritise male candidates over females.

The draft amendment also gives a clear definition of sexual harassment as subjecting women against their will to verbal expressions with sexual connotations, inappropriate or unnecessary bodily behaviour, sexually explicit images, or hint at benefits in exchange for intimate relationships or sex.

READ: China aims for one million innovative SMEs by 2025

It was unclear when the legislation would be passed, but the discussion is expected to continue until at least Friday, and the draft would not likely be voted on before that.

China ranks 107th among 153 countries in the World Economic Forum’s annual ranking on global gender equality, according to Reuters.