women’s quality

women’s quality
(nüren suzhi)
Political/social concept
‘Women’s quality’ emerged as a major issue in the 1980s with the decision of the All-China Women’s Federation to emphasize raising women’s quality as the cornerstone of their strategy to raise the status of women. The strategy was based on the premise that the main obstacle for women was low quality—primarily understood to refer to women’s disadvantages in literacy, education and training, but also extending to work and leadership experience and to familiarity with and skills in the marketplace. Organized initiatives were proposed and implemented to improve women’s quality, most notably the two studies, two competitions activities for rural women, as well as a programme to systematically improve the quality of all personnel in the Women’s Federations or of those linked with them (most notably village women’s heads).
Concurrent initiatives promoted women’s strengths in the family, in character, and in political life.
The call to raise women’s quality should also be understood within the context of wider calls to raise the overall quality of the Chinese nation and pursue both material and spiritual civilization (see socialist spiritual civilization). In this broader sense it is connected with long-standing ideals of self-cultivation, both in Confucian and Communist variants. As the Women’s Federations apply this approach within their own mandate, the emphasis is upon the internal strengthening of women in order to enable women to raise their social and political status. In terms of the socialist market, there is also a strong implication of preparing and encouraging women to compete successfully in the market.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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