A Chinese mayor, along with other six female municipal leaders in Asian developing countries, was awarded with the Certificate of Outstanding Women at a region-wide conference of women mayors and councilors Tuesday in Phitsanulok.
Hu Juping, vice executive mayor of Huangshi, Hubei Province of China, received the honor from Kim Hak-Su, executive secretary of the Bangkok-based United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) at the opening ceremony of the first-ever gathering of senior women officials in local governments in the region.
The meeting, which is held 377 kilometers north of Bangkok, is scheduled to span from Tuesday to Friday, which assembles some 120 mayors and councilors from 14 Asia-Pacific countries, under the sponsorship of ESCAP and the Thai government.
"I feel very fortunate to get the reward, and it is also a manifestation of high marks for all 463 mayors in China," Hu told Xinhua News Agency at the meeting.
Kim, the ESCAP chief, said that the objective of issuing the reward for outstanding women is to raise awareness of the transformative role that women play in local government and the challenges and constraints they face while working with and leading local-level governments, which is also the aim of the meeting.
The awardees, including six mayors and vice mayors, as well as one municipal councilor, who by their work have not only demonstrated transformative leadership but have also played important roles in promoting both the participation and representation of women in their local governments, according to Thelma S.E. Kay, chief of the women development section in ESCAP.
An ESCAP introduction document said that Hu Juping, who had served as a vice mayor for the past six years, holds various areas of responsibility encompassing a variety of tasks including daily routine work, urban planning, construction, management, among others.
Hu said she believed that the increasing number of women in local-level governments in China and other countries in the region will have a direct effect on the status of women, as it would help to eliminate discrimination and force people to value other people based on merits rather than gender.
"This, will in turn dismantle obstacles and deterrents to women's comprehensive participation in all aspects of society," she noted.
During the following days of the meeting, the Chinese delegates will join their colleagues from other countries in the region to discuss follow-up strategies and actions to promote the participation and representation of females in local governments. They will also adopt a declaration on advancement of women in local governments.
(People’s Daily 06/20/2001)