Women's Watch E-Newsletter

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Women's Watch E-Newsletter

Post  Admin on Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:27 pm

Hey girls!

Here's the Women Watch E-Newsletter. There are a few interesting articles about women, including the topic of domestic violence.

http://www.womenwatch-china.org/Upload/fck/4B56B3779E3B03C518ED90D94766B1419BDA8307.pdf
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Re: Women's Watch E-Newsletter

Post  Guest on Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:05 pm

Wow, that is a extensive newsletter! haha Full of great information though.

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Great Newsletter, I learned a lot

Post  Guest on Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:33 pm

I just wanted to share my thoughts about what I have read. The E-newsletter recounts a slew of Women's Issues all around China. I will give my reaction to the issue of matrimonial property rights, Li Yang's domestic abuse and Beijing's "Left Over Ladies."

Here I am in Beijing, China, and I have a roommate, a 44-year-old Investment Banker at a large, International Firm in downtown Beijing. She is successful with a doctorate degree from China's Number 3 University - Renmin University, and she vacations in China's sunny Sunya and Canada. She is amongst one of the many "Left Over Ladies," a Chinese term that defines educated and divorced women who are not needy for husbands and have higher standards than their younger, poorer counterparts. There are half a million of these elite and unmarried ladies in Beijing alone, the Xinhua news agency notes. Her situation, living with me in this rented apartment, sparked curiosity in me about the Chinese matrimonial legal system.

I read the 73rd Edition E-version of Women’s Watch China and was able to learn a lot about the progress and problems of Women’s Rights in China. What I want to write about is the "The 3rd Interpretation of Chinese Marriage Law” written by professor Ma Yinanan. This article, about the importance of safeguarding women’s rights to property in case of a divorice, highlights breakthroughs and problem areas in the Chinese legal system. The laws of marriage in China can be confusing and contradictory, and when divorces occur, problems often arise about ownership of moveable property and immoveable property. Moveable property can include anything from a sofa, to a desk to a clock to a microwave often, and traditionally in Chinese society, these articles would be purchased by the wife and her side of the family. The immoveable property is purchased by the husband. These problems do exist throughout the entire world, but in China, home ownership is a life-long pursuit, and in most cases, the ownership certificate will be signed by one party, the man.

A new law now exists, “No Taxation on Adding Spouse’s Name on Property,” which now permits a shared property ownership certificate. In many cases, the husband is the sole possessor of the property as if the house is bought by one party prior to marrage, the house is deemed personal property to the registered owner. The no tax law ensures the woman will not necessarily be out of a house were divorce to occur. Without a shared ownership certificate, the wife loses the house but will just get her share of the mortgage paycheck back. Personal property can be granted back to its possessor, but effort and a woman's perspective is still lacking in the legal system.

In case of a divorce, common property is considered the following: salary, bonuses, earning of production and manufacturing, profits of intellectual property rights and inherited or given property. Personal property, however, includes investsment profits of property. One area of the law that fails to recognize women’s rights is the fact that if real estate is registered under one party’s name, and if this party chooses to sell the house after divorce, legislation does not allow the vulnerable party the right to possess this immovable property. The woman, in most cases, has no say to repossess the house. While laws are intended to be fair, they are made by men. Ma's validly states:

“Discrimination against women occurs when legislators do not take a woman’s perspective into account and when a seemingly neutral law comes into effect in a society dominated by men”

In terms of “Marital Property” versus “Civil Property, the law does not consider “either party’s contribution to the household chores and love for each other,” Ma says. The laws made by the male dominated society indeed fail to realize a woman’s experience or their value and this needs to change.

“The law chooses to ignore [Women’s Right’s] problems willingly or unwillingly."

In China, were the wife to get pregnant and want an abortion, Article 9 stipulates that the absolute rights to terminate the pregnancy are the female’s.“This deprives the husband of his say in his wife’s abortion decision and therefore safeguards women’s abortion rights," Ma says. I believe this to be true in Western countries.

One part of the article that made me feel ill-at-ease me would be Li Yang and his response to having hit his American wife. It seems to me that only because his wife Kim Lee posted pictures of her bruised knees and head did Li come forward to admit his mistakes. His quote goes to show he does not regret what he did and saw nothing wrong with hitting her:

"I hit her sometimes but I never thought she would make it public since it's not Chinese tradition to expose family conflicts to outsiders."

Maple Women's Psychological Counseling Center reports that domestic violence happens in 30% of Chinese families. I am sure many men maintain the same mentality as Li Yang. Education, communication and understanding can help put an end to such domestic violence.

Li Yang only donated 1000 yuan to a counseling center for women. I am pretty sure he could do better than that!

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Re: Women's Watch E-Newsletter

Post  Guest on Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:26 pm

Hi Aderr,

Thanks for such an in-depth reflection! I completely agree with you when it comes to the laws in China sometimes being contradictory, thus naturally one can't help but be confused. The laws that protect women in china, not only are they limited but as well they are not acted upon. God help me if I was ever abused in China and had to go through the Beijing legal system, I just would not have the confidence in the China law system, especially when it comes to protecting women.

As for Li Yang's case I can see where you are coming from when you say "His quote goes to show he does not regret what he did and saw nothing wrong with hitting her" because at the end of the day, his past experiences/the way he was brought up/cultural would lead him to believe it is ok to slap and hit a female around. However, I feel now that he has been exposed and is going to therapy, it is only now he would realise what he has done is wrong and would be so ashamed of himself. I only hope after all the attention goes away, he will not resort to his old ways.

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