Equality, Development and Sharing: Progress of Women's Cause in 70 Years Since New China's Founding
The creation and improvement of a working mechanism by the government for implementing the fundamental national policy of gender equality: In 1990, National Coordination Committee on Children and Women under State Council was established, which was renamed in 1993 to National Working Committee on Children and Women under State Council. The number of members of this committee has grown from 19 at its establishment to 35. This committee performs its legal duties by organizing, coordinating, instructing, and urging relevant departments in their work of women right protection, gender equality, and women development. The committee has its own offices, full-time staff, and funds. Local governmental units with similar functions have also been set up in all counties and higher-level administrative divisions and Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, thereby forming a tiered working system of interrelation and cooperation links. Moreover, women's development has been listed as a key target in both general national economic and social development plans and department-specific plans. The Outline of the 12th Five-year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of the People's Republic of China and the Outline of the 13th Five-year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of the People's Republic of China contain sections that deal specifically with women development plans and their implementation. There are also clearly defined objectives for the protection of women's rights in National Human Rights Action Plan of China and China's Action Plan against Human Abduction and Trafficking. Since 1995, the Chinese government has successively released three issues of Outline Program for Development of Chinese Women, each clarifying missions and targets for women's cause in a specific period. The drafting of the outline for the coming period starts in 2019. Other measures of great significance include the creation of a complete gender statistics system, publication of statistics-based monitoring reports for Outline Program for Development of Chinese Women, regular investigations of the social status of Chinese women, and the publication of relevant books such as Men and Women in China: Facts and Figures, Statistics about Conditions of Chinese Women and Children, etc.
The creation and improvement of a working mechanism for women's federations to serve as a bridge between the CPC and the government and general women groups: All-China Women's Federation is an organization jointly established by women from different ethnic groups and circles with the purpose of seeking further liberation and development of women. As a mass organization led by the CPC, the federation has formed a network of six levels, i.e. the nation, province (autonomous region, municipality), city (prefecture, autonomous prefecture), county (county-level city, district), township (residential district), and village (community), covering various women associations, institutions, social committees of women or women work committees, and group members. In the meanwhile, women's federations continue to expand to new sectors, trades, classes, and groups. Following the instructions of the CPC and relevant laws and regulations, these organizations carry out their political responsibilities and basic functions diligently, including promoting solidarity, implementing CPC policies, representing and maintaining of women's rights, and realizing of gender equality and the comprehensive development of women. By sticking to the general directions of the CPC and the government in different stages, they disseminate theoretical roadmaps and policies of the CPC, and guide women to hold on to socialism-based women development paths with Chinese characteristics. The role they play is also unique in social and family life, and instrumental to the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. All-China Women's Federation is a member of Central Rural Work Leading Team, the Central Commission for Guiding Cultural and Ethical Progress, Law Observance and Education Coordination Team under Central Committee for Comprehensive Law-based Governance, the State Council Leading Group of Poverty Alleviation and Development, and Employment Work Leading Team under the State Council. In these organizations, it represents the interests of women, and takes part in democratic decision-making, management, and supervision of national and social affairs on behalf of women. All-China Women's Federation took the initiative in setting up leading teams for programs like "Learning Culture and Technologies, Competing with Achievements and Contributions" and "Accomplishments of Females", along with coordination teams for "Five-virtue Civil Families" and other activities. These teams help maintain legal rights of women and children while building a coordination mechanism for safe family systems. Through cooperation with different departments, they jointly promote the development of women's cause. Starting from the 18th CPC National Congress, women's federations have been engaged in reforms and innovations. These endeavors make them more active in the political arena and bring them closer to the masses. They are now among the most dependable and helpful assistants to the CPC in its women's work. The women's federations are strengthening cohesive affinity among women with the common ideal of socialism with Chinese characteristics. By creating a direct and long-term women communication and service mechanism, they are able to guide, serve, and contact women. They also lead other women's organizations in serving women, achieving gender equality, and promoting women's causes.