Leta Hong Fincher is an American doctoral candidate in Sociology at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Her research on “leftover” women, gender inequality and the property market in China has been cited by many news organizations, including The Economist, New York Times, CNN, Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio. Her book based on the research, “Leftover Women”, was published by Zed Books in April 2014.
Leta is an award-winning former journalist who spent her childhood traveling to China, as the daughter of two China scholars. She has a Master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and a Bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University.
If you are an educated urban female professional above the age of 27 and remain single, you are, according to China’s state feminist agency All-China Women’s Federation, a “leftover woman”. The Federation, whose motto is to “protect women’s rights and interets”, is devoted to help the leftover women by publishing self-help articles such as “Overcoming the Big Four Emotional Blocks: Leftover Women Can Break Out of Being Single”. The social stigma surrounding so-called leftover women has been widely endorsed by the Chinese media.
Chairman Mao once famously proclaimed after China’s Communist Revolution in 1949 that “women hold up half of the sky”. Unfortunately for modern Chinese women, things have dramatically changed in the post-socialist China. Chinese women have experienced rapid rollback of many rights relative to men. We are very pleased to have Leta Hong Fincher to discuss the structural discrimination against women in China, and examine the broader problems with China’s economy, politics and social development.