On Monday morning in Wuhan, Hubei Province, over 10 Chinese students protested the inclusion of invasive gynecological exams in the screening process for new civil service applicants, according to Legal Daily.
Protesting outside the Human Resources and Social Security Department the students held signs and wore paper underpants over their clothes with slogans like “No pelvic exams!” and “No questions on menstrual history!”.
According to Legal Daily, one student said the manual on physical examinations for civil service recruits requires gynecological exams to diagnose sexually transmitted diseases and malignant tumors. The manual also requires information on menstrual history.
Men are not required to undergo similar examinations. Legal expert Han Guijun, an associate law professor at the Wuhan-based Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, told the paper that the practice may be against Chinese laws, and is “too invasive” for women.
“Gender discrimination is very widespread and in many senses institutionalized in China,” Geoff Crothall, communications director for the Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin, told the Guardian.
According to Xinhua, around 1.12 million people took the National Public Servant Exam to become a civil servants. Only 21,000 government positions are expected to be filled this year, and the government says only 1 in 53 applicants will get a government job.
Photos of the protest have been widely shared on Weibo:
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