Chinese women's status boosted by improved laws, policies, envoy told UN



Improved laws and policies have enhanced women's status and welfare in China, especially in the rural areas, a Chinese envoy told a United Nations (UN) meeting on women Thursday.

"Our mechanism for gender-related assessment of laws, regulations and policies has further improved, and the system of conducting interviews to ensure equal employment for women has been incorporated in local legislation," Wu Haitao, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN, said at the general debate of the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Of the representatives elected at the beginning of this year to the 13th National People's Congress, China's national legislature, women constitute 24.9 percent. Female members make up 20.39 percent of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the top political advisory panel, an increase of 2.55 percent over the last session.

"The number of rural women living in poverty has decreased drastically and more rural women now enjoy social security benefits such as basic pension scheme and new rural cooperative medical scheme," Wu said.

Eighty million rural women have access to free screening for cervix cancer and breast cancer. A total of 345 billion RMB (about 54.45 billion U.S. dollars) in guaranteed loan is available for rural female entrepreneurs.

Each year, women's federations at all levels provide training to rural women, establishing 30,000 agricultural demonstration bases. Over 2.6 million rural women are helped to increase their income, he added.

Wu said rural women are an important force in agricultural production and rural development. They are also a major player in resource management, ecological construction, and cultural and social development in rural areas.