The article researches the problem of gender equality in employment in Russia and China. The authors point that in spite of ratification by both countries of the main international instruments prohibiting gender discrimination in employment these norms did not fully penetrate to the legal system and to the legal culture of China and Russia. Part 1 inclueds the review of the general attitude on the role of the woman in the society in these countries. Part 2 focuses on the problems of the women protection from gender discrimination in Russia. In the part 3 the relevant Chinese experience and legislation is investigated through the comparison with the Russian approach. In conclusion the main common traits of gender based discrimination in employment in both countries are formulated: the lack of clarity in the definition of discrimination, the absence of a general provision on the shift of the burden of proof. The authors evidence the lack of law cases on discrimination in both countries and the difficulties in proving discrimination in these rare cases. The authors also substantiate that the general attitude towards the segregation of roles between men and women is one of the main reasons of gender discrimination in both countries.