|Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yishan, Head of the Chinese Delegation to the 48th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, on Follow-up to FWCW and the 23rd UNGASS|
|(3 March 2004)|
First of all, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, I would like to extend congratulations to you and other members of the Bureau on your election and thank you for your efforts in preparation for this session. I am in full confidence that the present session will be a full success under your leadership. The Chinese delegation will work closely with you and other delegations by making our own contribution to its success.
It is of great significance to include the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality into the agenda of CSW. It indicates that important progress has been made after years of efforts in promoting gender equality, and that our work for advancement of women has embarked on a new stage. I am greatly honored, as a man, to be the head of the Chinese delegation to the Commission on the Status of Women and to discuss such an important issue with delegates. You can be assured that I will make my due contribution to the present session as well as achieving gender equality in the long haul. The Chinese delegation appreciates the report of the Secretary-General on the present topic. It provides in-depth analysis on the role of men in socialization and education, in labor market and workplace and in prevention of HIV/AIDS. We support the recommendations for action proposed in the report. The Chinese delegation holds that the international community should focus on helping men to change gender stereotypical perceptions, and encouraging them to share family responsibilities. Only when women are emancipated both perceptually and in everyday life, can they fully participate in all aspects of human society and achieve de facto equality.
Women's equal participation in peace process and post-conflict peace building is not only a gender issue, but also an important political issue. Women are key component of the society and play an indispensable role by building peace, safeguarding security and participating in development. It is a matter of fact that resolution of any war and conflict relies heavily on full satisfaction of women's special needs in repatriation, resettlement, rehabilitation and reintegration into society and post-conflict peace building. It relies even more on ensuring and respecting all aspects of women's political rights. Otherwise it is impossible to have long-lasting peace and start post-war construction and development. The Chinese delegation is glad to notice that women's equal participation in peace process has attracted worldwide concern and achieved much progress especially after the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325. I would like to avail this opportunity to reiterate that the Chinese government, as always, encourages women's active participation in conflict prevention, supports inclusion of women at all stages of peace process without prejudice and wishes that the international community could continue to safeguard and implement all aspect of women's rights in their equal participation in peace process and post-conflict peace building.
The Chinese government has been earnestly implementing the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action by focusing on gender mainstreaming in its formulation and implementation of laws, regulations and policies. In the past year, the Chinese government continues its effort to implement its National Program for Development of Women in 2001-2010. The government has formulated favorable policies and measures to help unemployed women by providing vocational education and training for such women, encouraging women to start their own business, and applying tax reduction or exemption for them. For the time being, the average enrollment rate of school age girls is already over 90%. Both the illiteracy rate among women and the dropout rate among girls of school age continue to drop. The National People's Congress also keeps improving relevant laws and regulations according to emerging problems and issues regarding Chinese women and has thus made the decision to amend the Law on the Protection of Women's Rights and Interests adopted in 1992 so as to safeguard women's rights in a more comprehensive manner. I am in full confidence that with the country's deepening reform and opening-up, the women in China will enjoy more equality and freedom in deciding their own life.
2005 marks the 10th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing. The Chinese government and non-governmental organizations are preparing all kinds of activities, such as organizing seminars and publicity campaigns, to commemorate this important event, further advocate the spirit of the Conference and promote women's rights. The State Council Working Committee on Women and Children has organized relevant agencies to conduct research, collect data and draft the national report on the implementation of Beijing Declaration, the Platform for Action and the outcome document of the 23rd UNGASS. We will submit the report to the United Nations in a timely manner. At the same time, the Chinese government is willing to work together with the United Nations and women of all countries to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and to work for further development of the cause of gender equality.
Thank you, Madame Chairperson.