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Chinese women hold up half of the sky
(China Daily)
Updated: 2005-08-25 08:41

Editor's note:

The Information Office of China's State Council yesterday issued a white paper titled: Gender Equality and Women's Development in China. This white paper has been prepared to introduce to the rest of the world China's progress in promoting gender equality and women's development over the past decade. The following is the abstract of the document:

China is a developing country with the largest population in the world. Of its total population of 1.3 billion, women account for about half. Therefore, the promotion of gender equality and the overall development of women is not only of great significance for China's development, it also has a special influence on the efforts for the advancement of mankind.

In recent years, the Chinese Government has made fairness and justice, with gender equality included, an important part of efforts to build a harmonious socialist society, and has utilized economic, legal, administrative, public opinion and other measures to ensure that women enjoy equal rights with men in terms of politics, economy, culture, and social and family life, and continuously pushes forward women's development in an all-round way.

Efforts to promote gender equality

To promote gender equality and the development of women, China is making unremitting efforts to improve its legal system to protect the rights and interests of women, formulate and implement programmes regarding women's development, further improve relevant working organs, increase financial input and strengthen social awareness.

The National Working Committee on Children and Women (NWCCW) under the State Council, the co-ordination and consultation organ of the Chinese Government in charge of women and children's work, plays an important role in co-ordinating and promoting relevant government departments to do women and children's work well. It also does work in terms of formulating and organizing the implementation of the outlines for the development of women and children, providing necessary human, financial and material resources to the work on women and children and to the development of women and children's causes, and guiding, encouraging and supervising the work of its subordinates in all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government.

The current NWCCW is headed by a vice-premier of the State Council, and is composed of 33 member units (ministries, commissions under the State Council and non-governmental organizations) each having one of its vice-ministerial-level officials as a member of the NWCCW. To date, working organs on children and women have been set up by the people's governments of all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government, prefectures (prefecture-level cities and leagues) and counties (county-level cities, districts and banners) across the Chinese mainland, which are under the direction of officials of governments at the corresponding level.

The Chinese Government attaches importance to the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) related to the development of women. The All-China Women's Federation, All-China Federation of Trade Unions, Central Committee of the Communist Youth League, China Disabled Persons' Federation and China Association of Science and Technology have all effectively pressed ahead with their gender equality work in line with their respective guidelines. The All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) is the largest NGO in China dedicated to promoting gender equality and women's development. The ACWF and local women's federations play a significant role in uniting and motivating women to participate in the country's economic construction and social development, encouraging them to take an active part in the democratic management and supervision of State and social affairs, and representing and safeguarding the rights and interests of women as a whole.

The Chinese Government sets great store by co-operation with the United Nations and other international organizations, and has actively strengthened its exchanges and co-operation with other governments and women's organizations around the world. China is serious about implementing international conventions. In May 2000, it submitted to the United Nations The Report on the Implementation Result of the People's Republic of China of the "Beijing Declaration" and the "Platform for Action" Adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995; in March 2005, it submitted The Report on the Implementation of the People's Republic of China of the "Beijing Platform for Action" (1995) and the Document of Results of the 23rd UN General Assembly Special Session (2000).
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