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500 Women Mayors in China's 661 Cities
China's 661 cities currently have nearly 500 women in the office of mayor or vice-mayor, the largest number for any country in the world.

Liu Bohong, director of the Women Research Institute of the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), said Thursday at the ongoing international women leaders seminar.

Liu said the number of Chinese women mayors has grown rapidly since China's reform and opening-up, and these women are playing an important role in urban construction and in politics.

In the late 1980s, there were only 150 women mayors or vice-mayors in China, said Zhang Xuebin, secretary-general of the female mayors' branch of the Chinese Association of Mayors.

In spite of the rapid growth in the number of Chinese female mayors, nine tenths of the mayors are male. There are 5,000 male mayors or vice-mayors in the country.

The Chinese government stated in the Program for the Development of Chinese Women (2001-2010) that more efforts should be made to improve women's capacity in management and decision-making in state and social affairs, and increase the proportion of women leaders.

(People's Daily July 5, 2002)

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