China’s authorities first raised the number of allowed children from two to three per family, and might now even cancel all restrictions. Journalist Zhang Lijia, author of Lotus: A Novel(January 2017) on prostitution in China, looks at the troubled relationship between feminism and motherhood in her mother country, in an interview with the Italian publication Il Manifesto.
China’s new three-child policy has received a lackluster reception among its population. Author Zhang Lijia offers a few tips for the government to make its policy attractive for women: offer financial incentives, significantly expand its childcare capacity, and promote women-friendly policies and equality, she writes in the South China Morning Post.
China’s internet censors have been cracking down on feminist groups because they are considered by the government to be extremist by opposing traditional marriage. A wrong signal, says author Zhang Lijia in the South China Morning Post, and it will certainly not help the country in solving its demographic problems.
Women are among the most active in the workforce, but political participation is lagging like nowhere else in the world. Social commentator Zhang Lijiia dives into the patriarchal culture of China and how political participation in government can be improved, for the South China Morning Post.
China’s government tries to raise the number of newborns to offset an aging population, but the latest demographics show Chinese do not follow that lead as the country’s birthrate is dropping. People choose to make a different choice, explains social commentator Zhang Lijia in the Guardian. “And society has become more tolerant.”
Overwork in China – called the 996 culture – is rampant, especially in the IT industry. The recent death of a Pinduoduo employee also shocked social commentator Zhang Lijia. For her, this cannot be solved by the industry or employees, but the government should step in, she writes in the South China Morning Post.
Panic struck some commentators in China when recent official figures showed the country counted 240 single households, the largest number for any country in the world. While China and the Chinese still might have to get used to this feature, those numbers are not surprising, says author Zhang Lijia in the South China Morning Post.
A hidden problem in China are the 70 million children in the countryside, left behind by their migrant parents who left to work elsewhere in de big cities, says author Zhang Lijia in an interview with the Borgen Project. Many drop out of school and those who remain face dropping quality of their education. Zhang Lijia is currently working on a book on left-behind children (LBC’s).
China has a lot of historical luggage it has trouble coming to terms with, says author and journalist Zhang Lijia. The Korean was, claimed by China as a victory, is one of major historical issues the country has to come to terms with, she writes in a comment at the South China Morning Post.
As the Black Lives Matter movement took over some of the headlines, China typically dismissed racism as a Western problem. Author Zhang Lijia begs to differ, in The Wire. “The Chinese government claims to have “zero tolerance” for racism, but there have been no reports that anyone has been punished
It took China’s courts 27 years to acknowledge Zhang Yuhuan had been in jail innocent, and the reversal of the verdicts shocked the legal community. China’s courts have the largest conviction rate in the world, says author Zhang Lijia, but that is because of forced convictions. When Zhang Yuhuan case shows one thing, it is that structural reform of China’s court system is still needed, she argues at the South China Morning Post.
A Hunan reality TV show Sisters who make waves triggers off a heated debate in China on whether the TV show adds to the feminist debate or not. Author Zhang Lijia collects the arguments pro and con, and in the end concluded that the commercial show is making quite some feminist waves, she writes in the South China Morning Post.