On State Council, Women Hold Up 11.43% of the Sky

Bloomberg examines the underrepresentation of women in Chinese government:

More than 40 years after Chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed that “women hold up half the sky,” they are barely represented in the top echelons of China’s government and the biggest state-owned companies, according to figures compiled by Bloomberg ….

Premier Wen Jiabao’s 35-member state council has four women, while six of 21 members of President Barack Obama’s cabinet are female, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In France, five of 15 full ministers are women ….

In the past 62 years five women have served as full members of the ruling Politburo; three of those were wives or widows of senior leaders. Only one woman is on the 25-member Politburo now: State Councilor Liu Yandong. One level down, women make up just over 6 percent of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, while they accounted for more than 10 percent four decades ago ….

The position of women in government stands in contrast to their success in private business …. Six of the world’s 19 self-made women billionaires as of last year were Chinese, including Zhang [Xin] and Cheung [Yan], according to Forbes.