I. State Mechanism to Promote Gender Equality and
Development of Women
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 programs regarding women's development, further improve relevant working organs, increase financial input and strengthen social awareness.
The state has continuously intensified its efforts in the formulation, revision and enforcement of relevant laws and regulations to protect the legitimate rights and interests of women in earnest. As the supreme organ of state power and the top legislative organ of China, the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee have taken the protection of women's rights and interests and the promotion of gender equality as a key assignment, paid great attention to the formulation of laws concerning women, seriously dealt with bills related to the protection of women's legitimate rights and interests, and actively urged and supervised the enforcement and implementation of relevant laws. The Chinese government and its departments concerned have enforced laws and formulated and implemented relevant administrative rules and regulations to guarantee women's rights and interests, and promote gender equality. China now has built a complete legal system concerning the protection of women's rights and interests, and promotion of gender equality, based on the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, and with the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women as the main body and various separate laws and regulations, local regulations and administrative rules adopted by various government departments as supplementary provisions. The state judicial organs have augmented their law enforcement steps, and punished the perpetrators of various kinds of criminal infringements of women's rights and interests in accordance with the law.
The state has enacted and implemented outlines for the development of women, and included women's development in the overall plans of economic and social development. The Outline for the Development of Chinese Women is a national program of action to carry out the Platform for Action adopted in 1995 in Beijing and push forward gender equality and women's development in a comprehensive way. Since the goals set in the Outline for the Development of Chinese Women (1995-2000) have been basically realized, and to meet the demands of China's coordinated economic and social development and the requirements of the UN Millennium Development Goals, China promulgated in 2001 its Outline for the Development of Chinese Women (2001-2010). The new document outlines 34 major goals and 100 policies and measures in six fields: women and the economy; women's participation in decision-making and administration; women and education; women and health; women and the law; and women and the environment. The departments concerned under the State Council and local governments at all levels have all worked out their own programs for the implementation of the outline and plans for women's development in their respective areas.
The National Working Committee on Children and Women (NWCCW) under the State Council, the coordination and consultation organ of the Chinese government in charge of women and children's work, plays an important role in coordinating and promoting relevant government departments to do women and children's work well, as well as in 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 cause, 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 - ed.) 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 China's mainland, which are under the direction of officials of governments at the corresponding level. An effective working system has been built within these working committees to coordinate the functional departments and urge them to perform their duties. Their expenditures are covered in the financial budgets of the 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. It has an organizational system that covers women's federations and group members at various levels, and enjoys wide representation and mass involvement. 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. In recent years, government departments have cooperated with women's federations and other NGOs to organize all kinds of activities to effectively utilize social resources for the promotion of gender equality and women's development.
The central and local treasuries have both increased their inputs for the implementation of the outline for the development of women year by year, and optimized the allocation of resources to facilitate women's development. Since 2000, quite an amount of funds have been appropriated from the central and local treasuries to help achieve the key and difficult objectives that are difficult to fulfill in the outlines, with priority being given to the western and poverty-stricken areas. In 1990, the state input into women and children's health care and epidemic prevention and treatment stood at 305 million yuan and 1.203 billion yuan, respectively, which rose to 1.046 billion yuan and 3.388 billion yuan in 1999, and further to 1.579 billion yuan and 9.054 billion yuan in 2003. The state also pays great attention to the collection and study of statistics about the situation as regards women, and has set up a special organ to monitor and assess the implementation of the outline, and formulated a statistical monitoring indicator system and assessment program. In addition, networks for statistics monitoring and working systems have been established in various provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government. With the continuous improvement of the statistics-gathering and analysis systems by the departments concerned and gender statistics indicators added, a complete national gender statistics system has taken shape and is being constantly improved. Over the past decade, materials on gender statistics have been compiled and published by the state departments of statistics.
The Chinese government sets great store by cooperation with the United
Nations and other international organizations, and has actively strengthened
its exchanges and cooperation 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 February 2004, it submitted
The Fifth and Sixth Regular Reports on the Implementation of the UN "Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women;"
and 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