• A woman shouts slogans during a demonstration to mark the International Women's Day in Istanbul, March 6, 2010.

A woman shouts slogans during a demonstration to mark the International Women's Day in Istanbul, March 6, 2010. (Photo : REUTERS)

The International Women's Day not only celebrates the capacities of women and their value, but also highlights the many inequalities that women across the world, even in China, had to endure.

While increasing number of Chinese women are able to join the workforce and work in fields they traditionally would not have been able to, they are still not given the same opportunities like their male counterparts in their chosen occupation.

Like Us on Facebook

Just last week, a comment made by the head of the enrollment office at Beijing Language and Culture University caught fire because it highlighted the problem of gender inequality. The head claimed that male students majoring in languages are becoming quite popular for government agencies and state-owned enterprises, and because they are desired so much, they could get hired with high compensation even if they are not that good.

Apart from the disparities in wages and opportunities, women are also discriminated at because they could get pregnant. Most firms are likely to hire men or women who are already pregnant, rather than women who would take maternity leaves in the future. Some women were only able to secure their jobs because they agreed to the clause that they would not take a maternity leave on a specific period.

Even if breakthroughs such as having more women delegates participating in China's major political events to discuss legislative affairs suggest that progress is being made to achieve gender equality, inequality is still clear. Women still lose out to men when it comes to being promoted.

Further, women also lose out to men when fighting for their rights because they fear losing whatever boons they are already enjoying. Most women fear rocking the boat too much as they may lose more in the end.

In the workplace, some women would rather not have the maternity leave extended from 98 days to three years, which is being proposed, because they themselves are worried that this could cost them their jobs.

More than ever, even if women now enjoy more opportunities than before, the Chinese government should be in the forefront of ensuring women equality. Every individual and employer should consider this as an issue that needs in-depth discussion and massive reflection.