White Paper Indicates Low Average Health Status for Working Women
Uploaded Time: 2017-04-25

Most Chinese professional women are in poor health, according to the authors of a report released on April 22 at the Global Career Women's Sustainable Development Summit in Shanghai.

The survey, based on an online poll of more than 10,000 career women in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, indicated five main types of illness suffered by this group.

About 30 percent stated that they had women-specific health problems. Those named as most common included stomach trouble, neck arthritis and breast cancer.

According to the findings, three quarters of respondents were in poor health and about half worried about their condition. They went to hospital 2.8 times per year on average and 64 percent went to see a doctor more than once a year.

In general, those surveyed experienced at least two or three ongoing health conditions such as memory loss, poor sleep, fatigue or cervical pain.

The report also stressed that breast cancer has been women's main killer, having a severe impact on quality of life and career development.

Specifically, the morbidity rate for breast cancer contracted by Chinese professional women was nearly 20 percent. In urban areas, about 9 percent of women fell victim to breast cancer, ranking fifth among causes of death.

Since women generally said they took on heavier responsibilities with regards to balancing both family and career, they had little time to themselves, the report's authors said.

At the summit, organizers focused on women's emotional health.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) treatment from MIT, the U.S.; and, female representative Wu Daini, both shared tips for women on how to seek continuous mental energy when facing high pressure.

The summit also highlighted strong leadership and encouraged women's sustainable career development.

Organizers invited the president of Athena International, an NGO targeting women's leadership in the U.S., to give a speech on women's development in the workplace.

According to the speaker, women over 45 currently still under-performed in the competitive workplace, which not only hinders women's career development but also sets back the pace of social justice and progress.

Qiu Yumei, CEO and co-founder of the firm Ruiwen, pointed to women's "significant and indispensable role in both family and employment." She called for the whole of the society to focus on women's healthy challenges and make joint efforts to seek active solutions.

Wu Xijin, chief editor of Global Times, a popular daily Chinese newspaper, sent a video message saying that she hopes women can face challenges in employment and life with good health and a peaceful mentality.

The event further included a roundtable panel discussion. Speakers included: Yuan Ming, a well-known TV host; Zhao Ping, president of Allergan China; Wu Danru, a Taiwanese writer; Li Qiuping, deputy director of the PR and media department of Bayer China; Yang Hui, chairperson of Vivid Media; and, Chen Yuxin, co-founder and president of Lean In China.

(Source:, China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)