World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

New Marriage Law

The New Marriage Law (also First Marriage Law, Chinese: 新婚姻法; pinyin: Xīn Hūnyīn Fă) was a civil marriage law passed in the People's Republic of China on May 1, 1950. It was a radical change from existing patriarchal Chinese marriage traditions, and needed constant support from propaganda campaigns. It has since been superseded by the Second Marriage Law of 1980.

Contents

  • Origins 1
  • Implementation 2
  • Impact 3
  • Second Marriage Law 4
  • See also 5
  • External links 6
  • References 7

Origins

Marriage reform was one of the first priorities of the People's Republic of China when it was established in 1949.[1] Women's rights was a personal interest of Mao Zedong's, and a common issue for Chinese intellectuals since the New Culture Movement in the 1910s and 1920s.[2] Chinese marriage up until this time was often arranged or forced, concubinage was commonplace, and women could not seek divorce.[1]

Implementation

The new marriage law was enacted in May 1950, delivered by Mao Zedong himself.[1] It provided a civil registry for legal marriages, raised the marriageable age to 20 for males and 18 for females, and banned marriage by proxy; both parties had to consent to a marriage. It immediately became an essential part of land reform as women in rural communities stopped being sold to landlords. The official slogan was "Men and women are equal; everyone is worth his (or her) salt".[3] As a result of yearly propaganda campaigns from 1950 to 1955 to popularize the law, more than 90% of marriages in China were registered, and thereby were considered to be compliant with the New Marriage Law.[4]

Impact

China's divorce rate, though lower than in the Western countries, is increasing. Chinese women also have increased financial importance in the household.[5] Some contemporary critics argue that the New Marriage Law has made the nature of marriage in China more materialistic.[6]

Second Marriage Law

The New Marriage Law was updated in 1980 by the Second Marriage Law, which liberalized divorce,[6] introduced the one-child policy, and instructed the courts to favor the interests of women and children in property distribution in divorce. Further updates in 1983 legalized marriage with foreigners and interracial marriage.[1] It was amended in 2003 to outlaw married persons' cohabitation with a third party, aimed at curbing a resurgence of concubinage in big cities.[6] Recognition of same-sex marriage has been repeatedly proposed but not adopted yet.

See also

External links

  • China Divorce and Separation: The Basics (Article)
  • Marriage Law of the People’s Republic of China (1980) [English Translation]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Chen, Xinxin (March 2001). "Marriage Law Revisions Reflect Social Progress in China".  
  2. ^ Hughes, Sarah; Hughes, Brady (1997). Women in World History: Readings from 1500 to the present. M.E. Sharpe. p. 236.  
  3. ^ Niida, Noboro (June 2010). "Land Reform and New Marriage Law in China". The Developing Economies ( 
  4. ^ "New Marriage Law (1950)". chineseposters.net. 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  5. ^ Wan, Elaine Y. (1998-09-10). "China's Divorce Problem" 118 (57).  
  6. ^ a b c Wen, Chihua (2010-08-04). "For love or money".  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.