The first award to honor female scientists in China, the Chinese Young Women in Science Fellowship, was set up Wednesday in Beijing.
The award, created by the All China Women's Federation, China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), the China National Committee of UNESCO, and sponsored by L'Oreal China, is aimed at displaying the great contribution of women to the development of Science and Technology in China.
According to Hong Tianhui from the All-China Women's Federation, the award will be issued every year between 2004 and 2008 to four women scientists from across China.
Each recipient will get a prize of 100,000 yuan (US$12,048).
In order to show the special concern for the development of western China, Hong said, each year there will be at least one recipient from that region.
The fields of recipients will vary and will be decided in each year.
This year the award, scheduled to be issued in September, will go to life sciences.
Women are now playing an increasingly important role in China's science and technology circles.
According to a survey made by Hong's federation, there are 9.88 million women working in science and technology, accounting for 36.91 percent of the total.
As the status of women in China improves, more and more women are breaking the glass ceiling and taking on senior level positions.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering now have 87 female members, or about 5.1 percent of the total.
The award is an extension of L'Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science Partnership, which began in 1999.
Chinese women scientists have taken active part in the partnership. Physician Li Fanghua and Nancy Ip won the honor in 2003 and 2004.
(China Daily July 22, 2004)