Women lead struggle against China's inequalities

Beijing, May 10 (EFE).- Chinese women, after centuries of submission and devotion to the home, are taking advantage of the country's economic growth to free themselves and assume a strong role in the country, above all in the struggle against poverty and social inequality.

According to the 2011 Census, there are more than 656 million women in China, but not one of them occupies a top position in government, and in most sectors men are still the bosses.

Nonetheless, an increasing number are taking their own steps to improve their status, even at an international level: 11 of the wealthiest businesswomen in the world are in China, according to the latest rankings of Forbes magazine.

The same thing seems to be happening with the social projects emerging in China, a report by the FSYE Foundation says.

"Decades after Mao Zedong declared that 'women hold up the sky,' they represent 42 percent of the social entrepreneurs in the country and more than 70 percent of the workers in social companies," the document says.

Examples range from those who decide to deal with their own issues and take charge of their own destinies, to those who decide to jump in and help correct the marginalization of other sectors of the population.

"I looked around me and realized that the fate of disabled people doesn't just depend on them, but on those around them. And I decided to help out," Meixin Lee, founder of the Gift of Hope company, said during her speech at the recent "The Woman and the Social Company" seminar in Beijing.

Attending the event were women of all ages and positions, from founders, directors and workers to those beginning to take an interest in the world of social projects, so necessary in a country where economic growth has only increased inequalities.

There is, for example, the plight of migrants from rural areas who flood into big cities looking for a better life but end up earning less than the minimum wage - the social company Weipin was founded by Ying-Ying Lu to help them.

Then there are China's neglected seniors, whose number has reached 118 million out of a population of 1.3 billion, the reason Wang Yunrei created her social center dedicated to helping people over age 65.