China / Government

China issues white paper on gender equality, women's development

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-09-22 11:28

BEIJING - China issued on Tuesday a white paper on gender equality and women's development, providing a comprehensive overview of the country's women policies as well as unremitting efforts made and measures implemented in this regard.

Gender equality and women's development in China not only show the country's own progress, but also constitute a historical contribution made to global equality, development and peace, said the white paper marking the 20th anniversary of the UN's Fourth World Conference on Women that was held in Beijing and the promulgation of the gender equality policy.

As part of the commemoration, the UN Women and China will co-host a high-level global leaders' meeting on gender equality and women's empowerment at UN headquarters on Sept. 27, which will be chaired by President Xi Jinping. Over 70 world leaders are expected to make concrete commitments and firm pledges to overcome gender equality gaps.

The white paper said China has always upheld the constitutional principle of equality between men and women, which is also a basic state policy for promoting progress in the country and in society.

Chinese women make up one fifth of the world's total female population. Over the years China has progressively improved its laws and regulations, developed public policies, worked out development plans and pressed forward steadily with gender equality and women's development, it said.

Economic interests

China fully protects the economic interests of women, promoting women's equal participation in economic development and equal access to the fruits of reform and development, said the white paper.

Significant progress has been made in alleviating poverty among women, it said.

To create favorable conditions for women's employment and career development, China has also implemented policies that enable women in positions as middle-ranking officials, senior professionals and technicians at state organs and public institutions to retire at the same age as their male counterparts, and policies to facilitate the growth of female scientists and promote equal employment opportunities for female college graduates, it said.

China improves the level of social security for women, including maternity, old-age, medical, unemployment and industrial injury insurances, according to the paper.

The white paper said that the number of female entrepreneurs accounts for one quarter of the total number of entrepreneurs in China, and about 55 percent of new Internet businesses are being founded by women.

It said China protects the land rights of women in rural areas, and women living in rural areas account for about 70 percent of the total agricultural labor force.

Life and education

Chinese women's average life expectancy grew to 77.4 years in 2010, an increase of 4.1 years over 2000, said the white paper, adding that maternal and child health services have become more equitable and accessible in China.

The state has worked hard to improve community-level maternal and child health services and managed to provide full life-cycle health services for women, it said.

Women's participation in decision making and management has markedly improved in China, according to the white paper.

China values the role of women in people's congresses by improving their representation in the ranks of deputies to people's congresses at various levels, it said.

A marked improvement has been seen in gender equality in marriages and families in China over the past 20 years, and it has become the norm for husbands and wives to make family decisions jointly, and that more than 70 percent of women have taken part in making major family decisions, said the white paper.

More and more women can share family resources on an equal basis with men, and the concept of men and women sharing housework is now accepted, with the housework time gap between men and women shortened from 150 minutes 10 years ago to 74 minutes now, according to the white paper.

The gender gap in education has been markedly narrowed as China has implemented a special policy to ensure school-age girls enjoy equal access to compulsory education, it said.

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