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Chinese Women Make Great Progress

The past five years have witnessed remarkable improvements in Chinese women’s lives with great progress made to women’s causes, according to Gu Xiulian, vice chairwoman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and vice president of the All China Women’s Federation.


While addressing a press conference sponsored by the State Council Information Office in Beijing on August 14, Gu elaborated on woman’s progress made in five aspects.


First, more women are now participating at a higher level of state and social affairs administration with seven women now serving in posts as leading state and Party officials, and 14 women serving as ministers and vice ministers under the State Council, China’s cabinet. At the local level, there are all together 5,056 women officials. About 73.4 percent of women participate in the election of deputies to the people’s congress at both national and local levels.


Second, women’s right to employment has been further guaranteed. Through education, more rural women have enhanced their sense and capacity of applying science and technology to increase their income. There are more than 100 million rural Chinese women who have a command of one to two new farming technologies and therefore have formed a significant force in promoting the agricultural economy and harnessing an ecological environment. In towns and cities, women workers account for 37.9 percent of the working population.


Third, the general educational degree of women has obviously been improved. There are 3.97 million women students in institutes of high education, an increase of 2.67 million compared with the number five years ago, accounting for 43.95 percent of the total number of students, an increase of 6 percent compared with five years ago. Women students in secondary vocational schools have accounted for 56.6 percent. The number of women taking part in adult education has increased 37.6 percent.


Fourth, the health condition of women has also been improved. There are 3,069 health care institutes for women and children in the country, covering 86 percent of pregnant women. The rate of women hospitalized for childbirth has reached 78.8 percent, an increase of 12 percent compared with the figure five year ago. The average life expectancy of women is 73.6 years old.


Fifth, women have further realized their rights of person, as well as their rights and interests in marriage and family. China has 350 million households. Thanks to the legal marriage based on love and of  their own will, and to the equality between men and women, harmonious family relations have become the main stream.


(China.org.cn August 14, 2003)

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