Gender Equality and Women's Development in China

The state has established a working mechanism featuring leadership by the government, multi-departmental cooperation and participation of the whole of society. The State Council and local governments at various levels hold working meetings on children and women on a regular basis to discuss and make plans. Every year, the State Council and local working committees on children and women hold special meetings to hear reports from all their member units, analyze progress made in the implementation of the current program for women' s development, and work out measures to address matters of pressing concern for the smooth implementation of the program. Guidance has been given to local governments in actively exploring the establishment of an assessment system of laws and policies related to gender equality, so as to provide at the source a solid institutional guarantee for promoting gender equality and women' s development. The state supports the women' s federation organizations in representing and safeguarding women' s rights and promoting gender equality. As the organizational system of women' s federations is better established, it has been playing an increasingly prominent role in conducting theoretical studies and carrying out publicity, education and training programs in relation to gender equality.

The state has gradually improved the gender statistics system. A comprehensive statistics system has been established on women's development and it has been included in the routine statistics and statistical surveys undertaken by the state and relevant departments, and women' s health, well-being and development indicators and gender-disaggregated indicators have been standardized and improved. The state has gradually established a monitoring system for women's conditions at the national and provincial (autonomous region, municipal) levels, worked out a statistical monitoring and indicator system, and established a system in which local governments and relevant departments produce comprehensive statistical reports and submit reports for review on a regular basis. In 1990, 2000 and 2010, China carried out three surveys, which fully and objectively reflected the conditions and changes in Chinese women' s social status, providing valuable reference for the government to formulate policies and measures to promote women' s development and gender equality. The state published Women and Men in Chinese Society - Facts and Statistics in 1995, and updated it with new data in 1999, 2004, 2007 and 2012; and has published annual releases of Statistics on the Status of Chinese Women and Children since 2008.

II. Women and the Economy

Equal participation in economic activities and equitable access to economic resources are the basic conditions for the well-being and development of women. While pressing forward with a strategic adjustment of its economic structure and reform and innovation of its growth model, 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.

Significant progress has been made in alleviating poverty among women. During the implementation of comprehensive poverty reduction strategies, China has given overall consideration to the impact of urbanization, aging, climate change and other social and market factors on poverty among women, and strengthened efforts to address such poverty. China has implemented a program for poverty alleviation through development in rural areas, making women a key focus of attention and giving priority to poverty alleviation projects for women when all other conditions are equal, striving to improve the development capacity of women and bringing more benefits to them as a group. The number of impoverished women has dropped by an enormous margin, and the severity of poverty of women has been continuously alleviated. In the 592 poorest counties which are made the main targets of national poverty alleviation and development work, the poverty rate of the female population decreased from 20.3 percent in 2005 to 9.8 percent in 2010. The state has established a new-model social relief system, increasing efforts to protect impoverished women. In 2014, the numbers of women covered by subsistence allowances for urban and rural residents were 7.92 million and 18.26 million respectively, increasing by 2 million and 15.91 million, as compared to 2006. The state has actively implemented a number of public welfare and charity programs for impoverished mothers, such as the program of relief for mothers suffering from breast cancer and cervical cancer, the comfortable housing project for impoverished rural single mothers, and the mother health express program, bringing help to sick women, poor single mothers and various other groups of mothers in need.

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  Source: ACFTU  2015-10-22

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