Mao Notes

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Women- women in the communist party grew, but they were treated badly eg Song Qingling, and by 1959 they still made up only 13%. Marriage law 1950 gave legal divorce to women (though this could be overruled if the husband was a soldier), abolished dowries and concubinage, and gave women the right to own property, though this applied only to single/widowed and was undermined by collectivisation. Women were seen as a burden; in the countryside they were often sold during the famine, for example in the cities divorce rose by 60% during the famine, and female babies were often killed. Women were involved in manual labour as the men went to work for the GMD. Women in the work  force increased from 8% in 1949 to 32% in 1976. The Four Olds campaign criticised the traditional nuclear family. Prostitution increased, for example in the Anhui region the CCp workers had their own private brothel.

Education- In 1952 education acocunted for only 6.4% o the total state budget. Literacy rates increased from 20% in 1949 to 70% in 1976, due to the creation of Pinyin (written version of Mandarin) by the PRC in 1955. Key schools were established with good teachers and entrance exams, but these favoured children of party officials. The number of children aged 7-16 in full time education increased from 50% in 1956 to 96% in 1976. This was disrupted in teh middle by the Cultural Revolution, where between the years 1966-1970 130 million children stopped attending school, and after this 12 million were sent to the countryside. The census in 1982 showed that less than 1% of the population had a university degree, and only 11% had received schooling after the age of 16.

Health- Patriotic health movements in 1949 gave peasants education on diseases and prevention, such as correct disposal of waste to avoid diseases like cholera. Because of this, life expectancy increased from 35 years in 1949 to 55 years in 1976. The number of trained doctors and nurses increased, though this was disrupted by the Great Leap Forward, where doctors and their methods such as pain relief were considered 'bourgeoisie'. In 1973 71 million barefoot doctors were introduced to the countryside. They provided free health treatment, but Michael Lynch said 'they could not provide the full national medical service that a modern state requires. By 1952, healthcare received only 1.3% of state investment. Workers had reserved access to hospitals, which encouraged industrialisation. 3-tier system of healthcare, with paramedics acting as doctors, at village level. Free medical care for working class, payed care for 'friends' eg school teachers, healthcare denied for 'enemies' eg professors and shop keepers.

Land-  Class conflict created between the peasants and landlords, for example 1953-57 2.75 million landlords were killed, and CPC control was strenghened in the countryside. Families were pooled into cooperations to share resources, which appealed to Marxist theory though was ineffecitive, with Chang and Halliday describing the food shortages as 'the peasants had to eat tree…


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