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Asia

Is China the least sexist of the East Asian countries?

In general, yes China has better gender equality than Korea and Japan.

For example if you’re looking at the percentage of female CEOs (often a good measuring stick for breaking the glass ceiling) – China has the second highest proportion of female CEOs in the world List of female top executives – Wikipedia – this exceeds even the USA by quite a big margin. Compare this to Japan and Korea, where female CEOs only make up a mere 2% of the companies.

In general everyday life, Chinese women enjoy great career flexibility compared to Japanese and Korean women. There are a substantial portion of Chinese women who will say their dream career is to be an entrepreneur and starting their own business. In contrast, a large portion of Japanese and Korean women’s dream jobs is to be a flight attendant.

There are rarely pure housewives in China who stay home all day, whereas Korea and Japan have a substantial percentage of housewives who do nothing but stay home and take care of their babies.

I can’t speak for Japan on this but since I lived in Korea, I know that Koreans have traditional ceremonies on Lunar New Year and Chuseok (Thanksgiving) where the women have to traditionally prepare all the food for the guests and relatives. The men don’t have to do anything. I don’t think such a tradition still exists in China.

There are a lot of female-only occupations in Korea and Japan (for example most hairdressers are female, airline attendants are almost always female, etc) whereas in China, most jobs can be performed by both genders.

Women’s rights in China is far better than Korea as well. Abortion was only legalized last year in Korea, whereas abortion had been legal for over 3 decades in China. The punishment for sexual assault/rape in Korea is a mere few years in prison. The operator of the sex trafficking hub Soranet for example only got a few years and the 200k+ males who were in the Nth telegram scandal (Nth room case – Wikipedia) are not going to be punished at all. This is not even mentioning the spy camera epidemic in Korea (Hundreds of South Korean motel guests were secretly filmed and live-streamed online). In China, such crimes would have much more severe punishment.

In addition, women in China get significant other advantages over Korean/Japanese women. They are not under as much pressure to put on makeup or dress up as much. They don’t have as much financial burden – In Korea/Japan, the women will still have to pay for some costs of dating and marriage and buying a house, but in China the men bear almost 100% of those costs. There is a dowry in China where the men have to pay a substantial amount of money to marry, but it does not exist in Korea/Japan. These are more negatives for Chinese men then they are positives for Chinese women, but I feel like I should still mention them.

Also from what I’ve seen, meeting Chinese women, Korean women and Japanese women and traveling in their countries, Chinese women have much more freedom with regards to how they can express themselves. A tomboy in Korea or Japan (especially Korea), is not very welcomed by their society, but in China tomboys exist everywhere. This is related to what I said about them not being under as much pressure to dress or do makeup or behave a certain way, whereas especially in Korea you will find almost all women dress or do makeup in a feminine manner and are expected to behave in a ‘softer, gentler’ way.

Korean women are often shocked when they travel to China and see how strong Chinese women are there. For example, you will see women physically abusing men in China. This is unheard of in Korea and I have never seen it there. There is more pressure on Korean and Japanese women to be traditionally feminine in their society compared to Chinese women.