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China to boost women's status
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China has put forward development targets for women in the coming five years that aimed to further boost women's involvement in social and economic development and their participation in state affairs, according to the on-going national women's congress.

The targets also aim to ensure that the legitimate rights and interests of women are fully protected, the national policy on equal status between men and women fully implemented and the environment for women development significantly optimized.

Chinese women's ability should be further improved so that they could play a bigger role in building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way, said All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) Deputy-Chairwoman Huang Qingyi at the opening of the Tenth National Women's Congress in Beijing.

Huang, who delivered a work report on behalf of the ninth ACWF Executive Committee, said the targets also aim to improve women's ability to create their own businesses and their abilities of science and technology innovation.

"Sex discrimination in employment should be eradicated and the income gap between men and women should be further narrowed," said Huang.

She said women should more extensively take part in and make greater contribution to the country's economic development.

Women could exercise their democratic rights and their ability to participate in national and grassroots public affairs as well as social affairs will be enhanced, according to the targets.

The number of women officials, female Party delegates and female deputies to legislatures and political advisory bodies at various levels would be increased and women's rights to knowledge, participation, expression of opinions and supervision be protected, said Huang.

Huang said women should contribute more to the cultural sector such as education, sports, press and publication and broadcasting.

She stressed that more opportunities and resources should be allocated to women and they should enjoy more enhances of education, benefit more from social securities and improvement of health and living standard.

Mechanisms for securing women's rights and interest would be further improved and laws and policies protecting women's and children's rights be further implemented. Measures to fight and prevent infringement upon women's and children's rights and interest would be intensified, Huang added.

The five-day congress will hear and discuss a work report by the Ninth Executive Committee of the ACWF, deliberate and adopt amendments to the federation's constitution, and elect the 10th ACWF Executive Committee.

ACWF Chairwoman Gu Xiulian said 1,407 delegates from across the country were present at the once-every-five-year congress. Among the 1,280 elected delegates, 1,020 of them are newly elected. Each of China's 55 ethnic minorities has at least one delegate to the congress.

(Xinhua News Agency October 28, 2008)

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