Gender Inequality in Higher Music Education in China: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

Wai Chung Ho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Gender inequality in higher music education is a significant issue in China, shaped by both historical and contemporary factors that influence the opportunities available to women in this field. This paper offers a comprehensive analysis of the challenges encountered by women in higher music education in China, examining the impact of traditional Chinese philosophy, Western missionaries, and the Chinese Government on gender relations and opportunities in music education. Drawing upon existing literature and data, this paper addresses three main research areas pertaining to women’s education in China’s higher education: the historical evolution of women’s education in China, from traditional to modern times, in order to examine the progression of educational opportunities for women; the current landscape of opportunities for women’s education and involvement in music practices within China’s higher music education; and the existing employment framing issues that women face in higher music education in China, in comparison to their male counterparts. While acknowledging the increasing educational opportunities available to women in contemporary China, this paper recognizes that societal expectations and gender stereotypes can still impede women’s access to teaching careers and other music-related professions. These challenges have substantial implications for women’s education, music practices, and employability, underscoring the importance for policymakers and educators to actively promote gender equality within higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

User-Defined Keywords

  • gender inequality
  • educational opportunities
  • higher music education
  • music practices


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