Women will be recognised for the first time as descendants of Confucius in a revised family tree of the ancient Chinese philosopher, state media reported yesterday. While Confucianism has been a dominant philosophy and moral standard throughout Chinese history, it has also been criticised for according lower status to women and expecting them to serve men. 'We have to adapt to the times. Men and women are equal now,' Xinhua quoted Kong Dehong , a descendant of Confucius who is leading the fifth update of the family tree, as saying. Mr Kong said the latest revision would add about 1.2 million descendants to the family tree, bringing the total to about 1.8 million. 'Even if a woman has to leave the family when she gets married to live with her husband, that doesn't change the fact that she is descended from Confucius,' Mr Kong said. Another descendant, Kong Kai- ping , said the fact most Chinese families were restricted to having only one child was also a reason to include women. 'To present the spirit of equality between men and women is the main reason, but the fact many families only have single daughters was also a contributing factor.' Ms Kong and some other descendants denied Confucius discriminated against women, though one of the sage's teachings says a woman who lacks talent is virtuous. Some descendants said that of the 1.2 million additions to the family tree, about 20 per cent were women. They said the decision to include women was at first opposed by many descendants, but was gradually accepted by the majority. The revision was begun in 1997 and is set to end in 2009. The family tree is regarded as the world's biggest, with more than 80 generations. It was last updated in 1937. The descendants said the family tree would not be complete because some family branches had been lost and other family members did not want to be included. They estimate there are more than 3 million descendants of Confucius around the world. Beijing has been encouraging a new look at Confucianism since the 1990s to ease social contradictions through obedience to authority.