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Gender Equality Urged at Workplace
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Gender equality and diversity in the workplace should be given due consideration when China's top legislature meets to discuss the draft law on employment promotion later this year, said a senior female campaigner yesterday.


Technical expertise will be provided through seminars and discussions on the "specific wording" of the draft law when the legislature department meets, said Zhang Youyun, deputy director of the China Association of Employment Promotion under the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.


To promote equal employment for men and women, the government must play a key role in making its legal framework and social justice employment laws more gender-sensitive, she said.


Zhang made the remarks at a workshop that summarized a four-year project on enhancing gender diversity in China, which was jointly launched by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and its four Chinese constituents.


Launched in August 2002 and completed in April 2006, the project was carried out under the so-called "3+1" mechanism, which included input from the government, workers, labor organizations, employers and employer organizations, according to Constance Thomas, the director of ILO Office for China.


Supported by the ILO, four project teams were set up with the participation of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, the China Enterprise Confederation and the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF); and a project network was also established at a provincial level.


Statistics indicate there were 337 million female employees in China by the end of 2004, accounting for 44.8 percent of the total workforce.


(China Daily April 5, 2006)

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