Chairman Mao and Women's Rights in China Essay

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There is no denying that the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party under Chairman Mao Zedong changed the course of the history of China and shaped the China the world sees today. The amount of lives, cultural traditions, and differing intellectual thoughts that were lost and destroyed as he strove to meet his goals for the country can never be recovered or replaced. However, it had been asserted that one of the more positive effects of Chairman Mao on the people of China was his somewhat radical opinion of woman. Prior to the Communist Revolution, women’s role in Chinese society was almost completely limited to life within the home and focused on supporting their family and being submissive to their fathers and husbands. Chairman Mao…show more content…
Alicia S.M. Leung writes, “Confucian ethics accepted the subservience of women to men as natural and proper because women were generally regarded as unworthy or incapable of education.” This demonstrates that although Chairman Mao and the Chinese Communist Party might have had the good intentions to advance women through their policies, these polices were destined to not work out from the start, because of the thousands of years of influence Confucianism has on Chinese society. The Chinese Communist Party's official discourse on women's liberation originated from Karl Marx’s theories of communist revolution and the history of private ownership, European Socialist views on women's liberation, the Soviet model of women's liberation, the May Fourth feminist movement, and Chinese nationalism of the early twentieth century from when the party was first founded in 1921. Wang Zheng discusses how the May Fourth Movement accelerated the idea of advancing women’s rights in China. The feminist movement of this period brought women's liberation into China's political discourse, forcing all current and future political movements to contain policies and ideas for increasing women’s rights in order to be seen as progressive. Thus, the Chinese Communist Party deemed women’s emancipation as one of their ideological goals and pledges. The Party began to institutionalize their ideas of women's
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