Over half of all rural women who have migrated to urban centers to work have little or no access to social security benefits due to not being provided with labor contracts by their employers, reveals a new national survey.
"About 50.2 percent of female migrant workers have no labor contracts, while 40.2 percentage of male migrant workers are also without contracts," according to a survey on the rights of rural female workers conducted by the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF).
"No labor contract means rights are not protected, personal incomes are unstable, and working conditions are poor," said a source with the ACWF.
The survey shows that only 40.2 percent of female migrant workers have signed contracts with employers. Of these, only 23.8 percent of the women are provided medical insurance, 19.1 percent have occupational injury insurance and 15.8 percent have access to pension insurance.
Only 8.1 percent and 6.7 percent of female rural workers are entitled to unemployment and maternity insurance respectively, it said.
The survey shows that about 21 percent rural women in cities were systematically fired after becoming pregnant.
In China, most rural women working in cities are employed in the service sector as waitresses, saleswomen, nannies and factory workers.
Statistics show China's migrant worker population has grown to 114.9 million with an estimated 6.7 million new migrant workers in 2006 with women forming about 30 percent of the total.
Another survey by the Ministry of Agriculture showed migrant workers as having seen their average wage increase to 852 yuan (US$106) per month in 2006 from 803 yuan in 2005.
(Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2006)