Struggles for women’s rights, and the state’s responses, have shifted over the history of the People’s Republic of China. In an initial period of socialist state feminism, the Chinese Communist Party celebrated “women’s liberation” and offered child-friendly services to facilitate women’s entry into the workforce. During the era of post-socialist economic modernization, services were curtailed, shifting family responsibilities back to women and reinforcing patriarchal norms. Most recently, a form of made-in-China feminism has emerged, characterized by everyday resistance to prevailing gender expectations. Now, the state is suppressing feminist activists while adopting some of their proposals into law and policy.

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