A political adviser called for regulation and supervision to protect women from being discriminated against in employment during the ongoing two sessions.
Zhen Yan, former vice-chairwoman of the All-China Women's Federation and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said gender discrimination still exists in the labor market.
Some companies say openly that only male candidates will be employed or preferred, Zhen said at the sideline of the two sessions.
The situation worsened after the country adjusted the one-child policy, she said, Many companies do not hire women for fear of having to give maternity leave.
A survey last year on graduates' employment in Beijing, Hebei and Shandong provinces showed that 86.6 percent of female students had faced gender discrimination, according to Zhen.
Because of this, women suffer greater pressure while job hunting, which can result in psychological problems such as depression, Zhen said.
At last year's two sessions, the All-China Women's Federation submitted a proposal calling for gender equality in the labor market.
Though the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security has responded the labor market continues to see gender discrimination, the former official of the federation said.
Zhen this year proposed that relevant departments complete regulations and strengthen supervision. Those violators should also be given tougher penalties, she said.
The advance of gender equality in employment is crucial for women to participate in the economic and social development of the country, and also a requirement for advancing the rule of law, Zhen said.