Gender Equality and Women's Development in China

China actively participates in the regional and global promotion of gender equality. It attaches great importance to cooperation with UN agencies, and supports positive steps taken by the UN to promote gender equality and women's development. China has galvanized the UN Human Rights Council to adopt the presidential statement, which was advocated by China to mark the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action. China participates in the making of regulations and action plans for UN Women, and increases cooperation with it. China has hosted and held meetings on actions to follow up the Fourth World Conference on Women, and international meetings on women and disaster reduction, and women and sustainable development. In its efforts to promote regional gender equality, China has joined hands with the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in launching a project to improve the capacity to address gender issues and achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals in the Asia-Pacific region. As the host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2014, China organized the Forum on Women and the Economy. Within the framework of the ASEAN plus China, Japan and South Korea cooperation mechanism ("10+3"), China hosted the East Asia Gender Equality Ministerial Meeting.

China conducts extensive bilateral exchanges and cooperation regarding women. It treats gender equality as a major issue in the mechanism of state exchanges. During Sino-US, Sino-French and Sino-Russian exchanges, women' s forums, symposiums and cultural weeks of different themes have been held to further enhance mutual friendship and trust. Over the past two decades, China has carried out international cooperative projects concerning women in the fields of women and health, women and the economy, women and education, women and decision making and management, women and the environment, women, marriage and the family, combating domestic violence, and poverty and disaster reduction. Over the past decade, the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) alone has organized more than 100 international cooperative projects. Within the framework of South-South cooperation, China has focused on providing technical training and material assistance to women in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, established woman-to-woman exchanges and training centers, and sent Chinese experts to give guidance. In recent years, China has provided generous small-sum material assistance to women in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and helped them improve their working and living conditions.

Chinese women and women organizations take a more active part in international affairs. In 2015, China has 1,695 women diplomats, accounting for 30.7 percent of its total diplomatic strength. Of these, 12 are ambassadors, 19 are consuls general, and 132 are counselors, comprising 7.9 percent, 24.4 percent and 30.4 percent of the respective staff at corresponding levels. Chinese women organizations actively participate in reviewing important UN conventions concerning gender equality and women' s development. Chinese experts have served as representatives on UN' s Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, written and submitted NGO shadow reports, when review is in process on the implementation of international conventions and documents, including the CEDAW, the Beijing Declaration, and the Platform for Action, and taken part in various forms of exchanges and dialogue concerning gender equality and women' s development.

Conclusion

It is obvious to all that, in tandem with rapid economic and social development, great progress has been achieved in the promotion of gender equality and women's development in China over the past two decades.

At the same time, China is highly aware that, as a developing country with the world' s largest population, and restricted by its limited level of economic and social development, it will continue to be confronted with new situations and problems in its efforts to promote women's development. There is still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in China, and arduous tasks remain to be tackled.

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  Source: ACFTU  2015-10-22

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