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Women's Rights in HK Protected by Laws

Fully protected by international laws, Hong Kong's women celebrated the annual International Women's Day with a woman's body praising the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government's recent move to reinforce the protection of their rights in the past year.

With Hong Kong being a signatory to the Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the

Women Service Association said Friday that the SAR government has taken another significant step forward in heeding opinions of women by setting up the Women's Commission.

Au Yeung Po Chun, chairwoman of the association, said the commission, with a mission to enable women to fully realize their due status, rights and opportunities in all aspects of life, seems the most remarkable step taken by the government in protecting women's rights last year.

"The setting up of this association has given women an opportunity for their voices to be heard and enabled the government to take into account the 'women element' when making government policies in various aspects in future," she said.

The commission now engages in two surveys: one on women's allocation and use of their time and factors preventing them from taking part in social affairs, and the other on the hierarchical pattern of women employees in private companies.

With the declaration and the convention ensuring women treated with equality, women are encouraged to take part in political, social, economic and cultural aspects just as men are.

Betty Tung, the first lady in Hong Kong, has also praised all women who have been taking time to engage themselves in various voluntary social services. She was speaking at a celebration banquet held by groups of business women here on March 7.

Tung, who has been engaging intensively in voluntary services said, "I hereby give thanks to those who have supported myself, the society and the government in engaging in their social work."

In Hong Kong, various women's organizations are abound to provide channels for women's voices to be heard, including grassroots organizations, professional organizations, women's rights associations, Au Yeung said.

And in an attempt to better identify women's' needs in Hong Kong, a survey was conducted recently, and the results announced Friday show that 65 percent of the women here are satisfied with their married life.

(People's Daily March 9, 2002)

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