Julie Chao: Capitalism in, female leaders out in China

From the Seattle Post Intelligencer:

In the last Party Congress, in 2002, the percentage of women in the 198-member Central Committee dropped to 2.5 percent, an all-time low in the party’s history, from a high of 10 percent in 1973.

One of many reasons cited for the decline is that government has become more decentralized and the party less intrusive as the economy has opened up. The competitive pressures of the new market economy have brought out biases that had been suppressed in the collective era.

Ironically, the very organization that exists to help women — the All-China Women’s Federation — doesn’t serve them well in the country’s new era, analysts said.

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