NBC News — Young women in China are calling for improved rights as the world celebrates International Women's Day. Former Chinese leader Mao Zedong's famous saying that "women hold up half the sky" infers that women's contribution to society should equal that of men. Yet, the number of women occupying seats of power in China's government is very small. China daily reports the number of women attending the National People's Congress has been at 21% for the past 30 years.
Statistics from an international organization of parliaments show the number of women representing China politically has fallen since 1995. China is now ranked 60th in the world, which is down from 38th in 1995. Academics from China's Academy of Social Sciences say there will be 20 million Chinese men of marriageable age who will not be able to find a wife by 2020 because of the country's gender imbalance.
Women's rights have improved, and it's now easier for them to take time off to have children. However, women lag behind men economically too. The All China Women's Federation says women now own just under 38% of real estate in China. One group of young women pushed for greater rights through performance art last month by splattering wedding dresses with fake blood as they called for an end to domestic violence.