Social Reforms

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1940 foot-binding stopped.

Women in the Communist Part grew, yet 1959 still only 13% of members. Treated badly eg Song Qingling.

1949-76 women in the workforce went from 8% to 32%.

Marriage Law 1950-legal divorce for women (though soldiers were able to overrule their wife), concubinage and dowries were abolished.

Right to own property (though this was undermined by collectivisation, and only applied to single/widowed). However collectivisation meant women no longer had to search for food.

Women were sold in the countryside (seen as burden) eg during the famine divorce increased by 60% in the cities.

Prostitution increased eg in the Anhui region CCP workers had their own private brothels.

Nuclear family criticised in Four Olds campaign.

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In 1952 education accounted for only 6.4% of total state budget.

Literacy rates increased 1949 20% to 1976 70%. This was due to reform of Chinese language by the PRC, who created Pinyin in 1955 as new written style of Mandarin.

Key schools were developed with entrance exmas, though this favoured children of officials.

Census 1982 showed less than 1% had university degree and only 11% of population received schooling after 16.

During Cultural Revolution 1966-70 130 million children stopped school and 12 million sent to the countryside rather than returning to education.

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CPC created a deliberate class conflict between the peasants and landlords to strenghen power.

Land reforms meant that land/profit distribution was fairer.

Cooperations of 10 families to pool resources was ineffective, but collectivisation appealed to Marxist theory.

Lysenkoism and Four Noes Campaign (eg Sparrowcide) caused famine.

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1949 'patriotic health movements' gave education on diseases and prevention.

Number of trained doctors and nurses increased, but this was disrupted by the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution (doctors seen as bourgoisie).

1973 71 million barefoot doctors introduced. Gave free treatment to the population, though they were not fully qualified. They could not provide the full national medical service that a modern state requires.’Micheal Lynch.

Workers in industrial enterprises had reserved access to hospitals, so encouraged industrialisation.

The life expectancy of the Chinese population increased from 35 years in 1949 to 55 years by Mao’s death in 1972.

Free medical care to working class, payed for 'friends' eg teachers/secretaries, 'enemies' eg shop owned/professors were denied medical treatment.

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