Gender, Welfare and the Economy of Care: How China’s Social Policy System Shapes Women’s Opportunities and Gender Equality
Room 124 - Theatre C
Old Arts - Building 149
T: (03) 8344 3758
This presentation focuses on the gendered nature of China’s social policy ‘regime’ through the lens of the ‘care economy’ – that is, how and by whom the work of care and social reproduction are organised, financed and delivered. It examines how the production of welfare in an economy is gendered; how the care burden is shared; and how this affects distributional or equity outcomes.
Reviewing major changes in the organisation of production, reproduction and distribution in China since the end of the Mao era, this presentation analyses the implications of China’s evolving social and family policies for women’s work and well-being, for gender equality, and for the economy and society more broadly. A growing body of empirical work, particularly by Chinese scholars, demonstrates the various impacts of these changes – on women, care, family life and employment. Comparisons with other countries, particularly the developmental welfare regimes of East Asia, further supports the likelihood of significant economic, social and demographic impacts linked to the organisation of care.