Li Peng, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), called for further efforts to safeguard women's legitimate rights and interests on Friday.
Addressing a forum to mark the 10th anniversary of the promulgation of China's first Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women, Li, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said women are an indispensable force for the country’s development, and to treat men and women equally is one of China's basic national policies.
During the meeting, which was jointly sponsored by the NPC Committee for Internal and Judicial Affairs and the All-China Women's Federation, Li expressed his satisfaction at the marked improvement in women's social status over the past decade.
However, Li said, sex discrimination and inequality between men and women still exist here owing to the remnants of feudalistic ideology that date back thousands of years.
Much remains to be done to ensure women's legitimate rights and interests, and it is an important part of women's political rights for them to take part in government affairs, Li said.
He said he hoped that more women would be promoted to leading positions and more women deputies elected to the people's congresses at various levels in the upcoming re-elections around the end of the year.
The people's congresses at various levels should continue their supervision of the implementation of the Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women, Li stressed. He also called for continuing to improve legislation to ensure women's rights and interests.
(China Daily September 29, 2002)