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Actions Initiated by the All-China Women's Federation

Action of Facilitating Women in Poverty Alleviation
Action to Assist Laid-Off Women Workers to be Re-employed
Action of Facilitating Women in Eliminating illiteracy
Action to Help Women Become Competent and Talented Persons
Action to Promote Cultural and Ethical Progress

Action of Facilitating Women in Poverty Alleviation

China is a developing country. There are still quite a number of people living in poverty. Since 1986, the Chinese government has been organizing poverty alleviation program on a large scale throughout China in a planned way. The government endeavors have won the praises and appreciation of all the circles in the society. With the efforts made by the whole society, the poverty population had dropped to 65 million from the original 125 million by 1995.

For years, the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) has deemed helping poor women out of poverty as its main task. In the early 1980s, women's federations (WF) at all levels started to contact the poor house- holds in the poor areas. Since 1988, supported by the Poverty Alleviation Office of the State Council, ACWF has trained more than 1,300WF cadres of the poor regions. The trainees played a leading role in changing poor women's status in their hometowns afterwards. Other than learning in classrooms, the trainees were offered visits to the better-off coastal areas or posted in fields to gain hands-on experiences. To bring sound and meaningful changes to women masses, ACWF also launched countrywide "Two Learns and Two Competes" Campaign (i.e. to acquire literacy and technical know-how, to emulate each other in accomplishments and contributions) among the rural women. In the Campaign, ACWF ran various training classes to raise women's competence and qualification; helped women get more income by developing courtyard economy and implementing development projects; and tried in all ways to make 1.6 million women shake off poverty, such as setting up women-headed households for technical demonstration, or designating places or households for follow-up contacts and forming hand-in-hand advancement of achieving better-off livelihood for all through strengthening mutual aid between the better developed and the underdeveloped.

In the past few years, ACWF absorbed international donations totaling 6.65 million US dollars for projects targeting 230,000 women as direct beneficiaries in the poor areas of about 20 provinces and autonomous regions in China.

After the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, in order to promote the implementation of the Platform for Action and the Program for the Development of Chinese Women, ACWF declared in 1996 in its Third Session of the Executive Committee of the Seventh Women Congress that great efforts will be made by WF at all levels to carry out the program prescribed in the Action of Facilitating Women in Poverty Alleviation in the following five years. Advocated by ACWF, the State Council decided to adopt a pro-women policy in selecting aid-poor project applications under the same condition, which applies to all provinces. WFs at all levels are required to lay emphasis on the following tasks:

----to designate places or households for contact in poverty alleviation campaign continuously;

----to implement women-oriented poverty alleviation projects by using capable women or successful households as key elements to lead others for multiplier purposes;

----to train the WF cadres of 592 poverty counties newly designated by the State Council; and

----to carry out successively the hand-in-hand advancement of achieving better-off livelihood for all through strengthening mutual aid between the better-developed and under-developed so as to help another I million women out of poor status by the end of this century.

Action to Assist Laid-Off Women Workers to be Re-employed

Following the Fourth World Conference on Women, in order to implement the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action adopted at the Conference and the Program for the Development of Chinese Women promulgated by the Chinese Government, the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) has initiated an "action to assist laid-off women workers to be re-employed", aiming at assisting one million laid-off women workers to be re-employed by the year 2000. The All-China Women's Federation has made a survey of the situation of laid-off women workers and their desires tar reemployment, and directed women's federations at all levels to work for the reemployment of laid-off women workers with their own characteristics.

Conduct publicity and educational work to change women's outlook of choosing jobs

In view of the tract that a certain number of women have difficulty in being re-employed because of the out-dated outlook of choosing jobs, a "reporting delegation on the achievements of the once-laid-off women workers" has been organized to give speeches in some big cities. These vivid examples have encouraged other laid-off women workers to persevere in getting employment in multiple fields and through multiple channels, to cultivate the spirit of self-respect, self-confidence, self-reliance and self-improvement, to broaden out channels for employment and to strive for employment opportunities.

Conduct vocational training to enhance women's Competitive capacity for employment

In the light of the demand in the labor market, training has been conducted for laid-off women workers on vocational skills in a variety of forms and categories at different levels in order to help laid-off women workers in acquiring skills for reemployment, and increasing their competitive capacity for employment. Over the past two year, women's federations at various levels throughout the country have trained about one million laid-off women workers, 470,000 of whom got re-employed.

Furnish intermediary services to act as a contact for women workers to get new jobs

By running employment agencies, holding talks to introduce job opportunities and special meetings for recruiting laid-off women workers, and running information and guidance centers for the reemployment of women workers, the women's federations at various levels provide assistance to laid-off women workers to find posts reemployment.

Set up small economic entities to create Job opportunities for laid-off women workers

Women's federations at various levels have endeavored to set up small economic entities, particularly entities of the tertiary industry such as family service companies, women's service groups, laid-off women worker's market, to arrange employment directly for ]aid-off women workers. Jobs of this nature are fit for women to take pate in and meet the demand of the society.

Action of Facilitating Women in Eliminating illiteracy

Since the founding of New China in 1949, the Chinese government has committed itself in the elimination of illiteracy. In the past 45 years, there was a total of 185 million people who became literate through the government programs. The statistics in the past four years shows in particular that an average of five million people every year, of whom over 65% were women became literate. The illiterate rate of people aged 15 and up in our country dropped from 80% in the early stage after the birth of New China to 12% in 1995. In the same period, the female illiterate rate decreased from 95% to 23%. By 1996, illiterates among young and middle-aged people had reduced to 32 million, which accounted for 7% of the total population of that group.

For years, ACWF has listed the female literacy campaign as an important task, WFs at all levels have taken measures to run evening schools, winter schools and various training classes for women illiterates in addition to their efforts made to help girl drop-outs or girls of school age go to school to prevent new female illiterates at an early stage. The Spring Bud Project (i.e. to help girls finish school education through raising funds from the society , and to protect children's right to education ) which has been implemented by ACWF since 1994 has assisted 100,000 girls to go back to schools, In 1989, ACWF organized the rural women in the campaign of "Two Learns and Two Competes" (i.e. to acquire literacy and technical know-how , to emulate each other in accomplishment and contributions ) which has integrated the goals of making women become literate, technically competent and better-off. Beijing literate and equipped with new agro-technology , many women are enjoying a better life now .In 1994 , ACWF and the State Education Commission had made a special decision to eliminate female illiteracy as an important activity to greet the World Conference on Women in 1995 . A target of 5 million women to acquire literacy was set to be fulfilled before the Conference.

After the World Conference on Women , responding to the call of the Platform for Action , the Chinese government worked out the program for the Development of Chinese Women in which a new target of eliminating female illiteracy was set .To meet the government requirements, ACWF has further formulated its plan of eliminating female illiteracy. The plan aims at helping 3 million women annually and making more than 90% of the women aged between 15-30 become literate by the end of the century. The plan is being implemented now. There are many literacy competitions carried out among the grassroot women at township level in China as requested by ACWF this year. Ten outstanding women in learning Chinese were awarded. Text year, we will organize the fourth "Awards for the Outstanding Women in Eliminating Illiteracy". This is a biannual activity which has been carried out for three times, awarding several hundreds of departments and individuals for their excellent deeds.

ACWF has been actively engaged in project cooperations with international donors for eliminating female illiteracy. Those projects have achieved good results. Because of its outstanding work, ACWF was awarded King Sejong Literacy Prize by UNESCO in 1995.

Action to Help Women Become Competent and Talented Persons

In order to raise the number and proportion of women at top decision-making level and top administrative level, the All-China Women's Federation and women's federations at local levels, proceeding from the improvement of women's qualities, have actively participated in the work of training and selecting women cadres.

Upgrade the qualities of women

 For the purpose of upgrading the qualities of women and tapping their intelligent resources, the All-China Women's Federation, by taking advantage of its own database of talented women, has taken an initiative in recommending outstanding women to the government departments concerned. At the same time, through a variety of channels, it has reinforced the training of women cadres with an aim of widening their field of vision and strengthening their leadership capabilities. The Chinese Women's College and women cadres' managerial institutes/schools in different parts of the country have become the bases for training women of ability, women cadres and the backbones of women's federations.

Actively participate in training and selecting women cadres

The All-China Women's Federation has actively joined the National People's Congress in inspecting the enforcement of "the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Women's Rights and Interests" and regularly worked together with the departments concerned in convening working meetings on training and selecting women cadres. It has also sent investigation teams to various provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities under the direct jurisdiction of the central government (herein after referred to as province) to find out the situation of the training and use of women cadres and put forth proposals and measures.

More women participate in politics

The women deputies to the 15th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party are 16.88% and there is a woman member in the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.

The women deputies to the 9th National People's Congress is 21.81% and that to the National Committee of the 9th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference is 15.54%. As a result of the late election of the township people's congresses of the whole country, the women deputies make up 21.7% of the total. The percentage of women deputies to the township people's congresses in Beijing is 31, ranking first in the country, and particularly women deputies to the Miyun Township People's Congress of Miyun County has reached as high as 58.44%, which occupies the first place among the townships in the whole country. The proportion of women deputies to the people's congresses in Shanghai Municipality, Liaoning, Jilin and Hebei provinces and Xinjiang Autonomous Region is over 24%.

Up to the end of 1997, there was at least one woman either in the Party or government leading bodies in 31 provinces, and among which 10 provinces had women both in the Party and government leading bodies. Besides, there were women leaders at the decision-making level in all prefectures and cities in 16 provinces, and that in all counties and 50% of townships in 13 provinces.

Women cadres and qualified women scientists and technicians have grown in number

By the end of 1996, women cadres in the whole country have constituted 33.08% of the total. There are now more than 23,800 women judges, making up 15% of the total number, and 8,300 professional women lawyers, accounting for 17% of the total. There are 62 women academicians in the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering Sciences, holding 6% of the total academicians in the two academies. Senior women professional and technical personnel account for 20% of the total while women mayors and deputy mayors number 375.

Action to Promote Cultural and Ethical Progress

Action to promote cultural and ethical progress encourages the establishment of civilized behavioral, equal and harmonious families and advocates family virtues. It urges people to actively carry out activities for building up family culture and integrates the education on social morals, professional ethics and family virtues.

The appraisal and selection of Five-Good Family campaign launched in the fifties has a history of more than 40 years. In 1996, the All-China Women's Federation, together with 18 relevant government departments, set up a National Coordinating Group for the Campaign of Five-Good Civilized Family. And such coordinating groups were set up in all the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the jurisdiction of the central government. The first commendation meeting for five-good civilized family was held in 1997. The criteria for 11ye-good civilized family are: Good at loving the country and observing the law and being enthusiastic in public affairs; Good at having enterprise in studies, cherishing the post and respecting the work; Good at attaining gender equality, respecting the old and loving the young; Good at changing prevailing habits and customs and having fewer births and healthier child-rearing; and Good at managing the household industriously and thriftily and protecting the environment.

The activities tar establishment of five-good civilized family have been carried out throughout the country in a variety of forms, which include mainly: lectures, symposiums and quizzes with family virtues as the contents; appraisal and selection of various parts played in the family; activities of family volunteers and family book-reading, etc. By means of combining the cultivation of family virtues with the building of community civilization, family members are encouraged to take an active part in the public welfare activities in the community. The popularizing-law education on the Law for the Protection of Women's Rights and Interests and the Law of the Protection of Minors bas been conducted energetically, and by means of administration according to the law, to promote "laws entering tens and thousands of families" and the community legal services, so as to safeguard women's rights and interests.

The All-China Women's Federation and the State Environmental Protection at ministration have jointly started the environmental protection education and the environmental protection actions with "women, home and environment" as the main subject and organized the compilation of a book entitled "Facts about Environmental Protection for Women" with the purpose of encouraging family members to participate in the environmental protection activities.


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