BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) -- For Chinese feminists who have campaigned for more parity between sexes in workplace, a recent call for equality may have trapped them in dilemma.
"I suggest government adjust the early retirement age of women, which has made us politically and economically unprivileged," said Xu Chonghua, female deputy from Anhui Province, at the top legislative meeting.
China allows female cadres to retire at 55 and women workers at 50, five years earlier than men. But Xu deemed this gender division stipulated by a 1978 statute to be dated and problematic.
"Take female officials for example, earlier retirement brings down the age cap on promotion. So a woman in her fifties, the golden age for a politician, already has her nose pressed on the glass ceiling," said Xu.
"Women who retire early also have their pension and welfare benefits shortened as a result of a shorter length of service," Xu added.
Xu's proposal to either postpone women's retirement age or make the age in line with men's, followed a statement by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS), which said an extensive review of women's retirement age was afoot.
The statement set off a firestorm of public opinions, and the fiery debate on whether the age should be buoyed or reduced have raged from online forums into the Great Hall of People, where the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, is holding its yearly plenary session.