DIFFERENCES IN TREATMENT OF BOYS AND GIRLS
Traditional Chinese culture emphasizes the dominant role of males (Wu and Cao 2014). Females are often considered subordinate to males. Article 33 of the Constitution of PRC provides that all citizens of the People’s Republic of China are equal before the law. In reality, the patriarchal culture remains strong, and actual gender inequality exists in every aspect of social life, including the juvenile justice system.
The official crime statistics do not provide information regarding female juvenile crimes nationwide. It is believed that the overall number of female juvenile offenders has been growing in the recent years (Bing 2010; Shao 2010). For example, a judicial report by Henan Provincial High Court reveals that the percentage of female juvenile offenders increased from 1.91 % in 2007 to 3.04 % in 2011 (Henan Provincial Higher Court 2012). The UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice calls for fair treatment of female offenders at every stage of the criminal justice process and for special attention to the particular problems and needs they face while in custody. Article 26.4 stipulates that young female offenders placed in an institution deserve special attention as to their personal needs and problems. They shall by no means receive less care, protection, assistance, treatment, and training than young male offenders. Their fair treatment shall be ensured (Article 26.4). The special treatment needs of female juvenile offenders, however, have not been articulated in any Chinese laws concerning juvenile offenders.