Inderscience Publishers

Women and labour rights in China

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

Domestic service workers in China, 96% of whom are females, have few labour rights due to the lack of appropriate laws. A survey of domestic service workers and companies in 2006-2007 found a predominance of low wages, long working hours, lack of training, and limited vacation days. The domestic service industry in China is characterised by a lack of government oversight, legal contracts, insurance coverage, and access to dispute resolution. This perpetuates gender disparities in the labour market and reduces the contribution of this industry to economic growth. This article analyses the need for legislation to protect the rights of domestic workers from the perspective of the labourers, the interests of employers and service companies, and gender equality. Legal protection for domestic service workers in China could be modelled on the labour laws of the Philippines and Hong Kong.

Keywords: gender disparities, sustainable development, women, labour rights, China, sustainability, domestic service workers, female domestics, economic growth, legislation, domestic workers, gender equality, legal protection, labour laws, Philippines, Hong Kong

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