The Legal Criteria for Divorce in a Court of Law
General Information on Marriage in China by Australian Nationals

What China’s new marriage law has to do with American social conservatism

By LORI | Published: SEPTEMBER 8, 2011

Last month, a new interpretation of Chinese law went into effect that awards ownership of property bought before marriage to the original buyer, rather than to the couple jointly, as the law had previously been.

It’s easy to see how this change would mostly affect women, and could threaten the economic security of divorced Chinese women, especially considering how ingrained male home ownership is in Chinese culture: Chinese men traditionally buy a home before they marry, and many parents start a “home-purchase fund” for their child as soon as they know it is male. One article even reports that “a marriage entered into when the male does not have a house to provide is referred to as a ‘naked wedding.’”

While there are some cultural considerations here, the link between gender equity and divorce law, and the threat of disempowerment for women divorcees, is far from culturally specific.

“If there’s one thing feminists love, it’s divorce,” Phyllis Schlafly, leading social conservative, anti-feminist, and Bachmann pal has famously claimed.

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