2. German-Sino Conference on Gender Equality and Development: Family Policy and Gender Equality

Event: Society and Politics

FES Beijing co-organised a conference for experts on family policy and gender equality with China’s Women’s University. Over 60 participants discussed how the value of care work, different approaches to child care, long-term care and the treatment of women and mothers on the labour market affect each other and gender equality in Germany and China.

The recent changes in China’s family policy and the demographic changes both China and Germany are facing have wide-ranging effects on gender equality. In both countries, women still spend much more time doing unpaid care-work in the family than men, which severely limits their opportunities to actively participate in society and the economy. Family policy is one important instrument that can help lessen the burden of unpaid care-work for women, or compensate them for their losses in social security benefits because of missing contributions from economically inactive periods.

In order to gain a better understanding of each country’s current developments in the field of family policy and their effect on gender equality, FES, in cooperation with the China Women’s University, co-organised the 2. German-Sino conference on Gender Equality and Development, titled “State – Society – Family: Family Policy and Gender Equality”. From November 27 to November 28, experts from the fields of sociology, political science, law, economics and gender studies participated in the conference in Beijing. Experts invited by FES were Prof. Dr. Birgit Buchinger, Dr. Regina Frey, PD Dr. Alexandra Scheele, Dr. Barbara Stiegler and Prof. Dr. Hildegard Theobald.

The experts delivered a total of seven presentations, giving an overview of German and European perspectives on parental leave, care-work, long-term care, and how these affect the labour market and the welfare state. The debates among the European and Chinese experts were very fruitful. The role of men (and fathers) was widely discussed and the experts came to the conclusion that men must be included in these debates so that they understand why it is crucial for the well-being of society that they take on more responsibilities in the household. In addition to the conference, the experts answered the questions of China Women’s University’s students on family policy, gender equality and gender studies in general.

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