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ERIC Number: ED464781
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 36
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
State Policies and Women's Autonomy in China, the Republic of Korea, and India, 1950-2000: Lessons from Contrasting Experiences. Working Paper.
Das Gupta, Monica; Lee, Sunhwa; Uberoi, Patricia; Wang, Danning; Wang, Lihong; Zhang, Xiaodan
This paper compares the influence of state policies on gender roles and women's empowerment in China, India, and South Korea. In 1950, these newly formed states were largely poor and agrarian, with common cultural factors that placed similar severe constraints on women's autonomy. The three countries followed very different paths of development, which have had a tremendous impact on gender outcomes. Today the countries show striking differences in the extent of gender equity achieved, with China showing the most gender equity and South Korea the least. India has achieved considerable improvement in gender equity, but both men and women continue to struggle with poverty, illiteracy, and poor health conditions. Following an overview of kinship systems and the construction of gender in the three countries, this paper focuses on several key issues: access to education, employment and income patterns, women's health and health education, family law and the legal rights of women, and state efforts to influence gender-related values and behaviors through mass communication. The experiences of these three countries suggest that even when states are interested in promoting gender equity, their actions are often constrained by the desire to maintain stable family structures. In addition, it is very difficult for states to alter inequitable rural rules of residence and land ownership, which form part of the moral order of rural society. Transition to an urban economy often loosens the constraints to gender equity. The impact of policies to provide opportunities for women's empowerment have been greatly enhanced by communication efforts to alter cultural values that impede women's access to those opportunities. (Contains 59 references.) (SV)
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Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: World Bank, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: China; India; South Korea