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China Angers Women By Requiring Invasive Employment Exam

China Angers Women By Requiring Invasive Employment Exam

China Angers Women By Requiring Invasive Employment Exam

In a country where women already face numerous barriers to equal opportunity, the Chinese government has implemented a new requirement that many women are calling invasive and discriminatory. The exam, which is required for some jobs, requires women to undergo a gynecological exam and submit their results in order to be hired. The requirement has sparked outrage and protests, with many arguing that it violates their right to privacy and is an attempt to limit their employment opportunities. This article explores the controversy surrounding the exam and its potential impact on women’s rights in China.

The Exam

The requirement for a gynecological exam first became public in a job posting for a position at a police department in southwestern China. The posting stated that female applicants would be required to submit results of a gynecological exam in order to be considered for the position. The requirement was later reported to be common among some public sector and civil service jobs.

Opinions on the exam have been mixed, with some arguing that it is a necessary measure for ensuring employee health and safety. However, many women and human rights groups have expressed outrage at the requirement, stating that it is invasive, discriminatory, and a violation of their right to privacy. Some have gone further and claimed that the requirement is illegal and unconstitutional.

Protests and Backlash

The exam has sparked widespread protests and backlash from women across China. Photos and videos of women wearing giant underwear, emblazoned with a universal “no” symbol around the Chinese word for “exam,” circulated on social media, drawing attention to the issue. The protests have also included online petitions and letters addressed to government officials.

Many have also taken to social media to voice their discontent and share their experiences. Some women have reported being traumatized by the exam, while others have claimed that it is limiting their employment opportunities. One woman, who was required to undergo the exam for her job as a public school teacher, stated that it made her feel like “a piece of meat.”

Implications for Women’s Rights

The requirement for a gynecological exam has far-reaching implications for women’s rights in China. The exam perpetuates harmful gender stereotypes and reinforces the notion that women’s bodies are inherently suspect or problematic. It also sets a dangerous precedent for government intrusion into women’s health and bodily autonomy.

The exam comes at a time when women in China are already facing numerous barriers to equal opportunity. The country has one of the lowest rates of female labor force participation in the world, and women are routinely subject to discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace. The requirement for a gynecological exam only further limits their employment opportunities and reinforces gender-based discrimination.


The requirement for a gynecological exam as part of certain job applications is a troubling development in a country where women are already facing numerous obstacles to equal opportunity. The requirement is invasive and discriminatory, and violates women’s right to privacy and bodily autonomy. While protests and public outcry have brought attention to the issue, it remains to be seen whether the government will take action to address these concerns and protect the rights of women in China. The need of the hour is for a more gender-inclusive workforce in all industries.

Women in China wore what looked like giant underwear, emblazoned with a universal “no” symbol around the Chinese word for “exam.”  The protest, against China’s government, revolves around an employment requirement that many say is invasive and some have claimed is illegal.

Both women and men in the United States often need to submit to brief physical examinations before employment.  However, in China, a practice has recently been called into question that requires young women to submit to gynecological examinations in order to enter positions in government.

Protests have begun in several cities, including Wuhan, because of a practice that the Chinese government has implemented in a way that female workers say is unfair.  While men are not required to have any kind of invasive medical examination before being allowed to take civil service jobs, women must have an exam that checks for tumors and sexually transmitted infections.  Women must also answer questions about their menstrual history that women say are invasive and have nothing to do with their qualifications as civil servants.

Women have consistently been discriminated against in the Chinese labor force, but protests have recently begun in which women have made a stand for greater privacy rights and equality under the law.

Out of China’s over 1.1 billion people,  just over a million apply for government jobs.  Because only 21,000 government jobs will need filled during the current year, this means that not even two percent of applicants will get the job they are looking for.

The protests come on the heels of the revelation that a Communist Party district chief in Chongquing was allowing contractors to win projects in exchange for sending female employees to sleep with the party chief.

While the Chinese government insists that the rules requiring examinations are simply to make sure that women do not have cancer or sexually transmitted diseases, workers contend that this is not a good enough reason to have the examination.  According to them, since their job roles will not require any contact of a type that could spread sexually transmitted diseases, this information is irrelevant to their future employer and could damage their reputation.

China’s official policies regarding employment discrimination may in fact be in conflict with these provisions. The women in the protest movement hope to have the exam requirement found illegal under current labor policies that apply nationwide.

Sources: businessinsider.com, globaltimes.cn