When the Communists took over the Chinese government, one of their commitments to the people was to guarantee equal rights between men and women. This goal is shown in one of the laws made when the government was formed and it states that “The People’s Republic of China shall abolish the feudal system which holds women in bondage. Woman shall enjoy equal rights with men in political, economic, cultural, educational, and social life”. The government followed up on their promise with the Marriage Law of 1950, which was an enormous step forward for the rights of women. It outlawed prostitution, child betrothal, concubinage, and arranged marriages, all of which had been legal before this. Additionally, it granted the right to divorce. Before, after marrying or being engaged to someone, women would never divorce or remarry, even if their spouse had died. In the Qing dynasty from 1644-1911, women could be severely punished for running away from marriages or remarrying (they could be hanged or flogged for it). Plus at that time, it was custom for the widow to live with her husband’s family for the rest of her life essentially as a servant and never remarry. Clearly, the Marriage Law of 1950, made possible by the Chinese Civil War, improved the lives and rights of women in …show more content…
Compared to the previous situation where women were treated like property with very little to no rights, the war inspired a wave of reform and change throughout China, allowing to become more educated, enter the workforce, marry and divorce of their own free will, curb female infanticide, and create organizations to protect women and their rights.
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