|Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the UN Ambassador Liu Zhenminat the 51st Session of Commission on the Status of Women (Agenda Item 3)|
China associates itself with the statement made by Pakistan on behalf of G77 and China. The Chinese delegation will give full support to you and other members of the bureau for fruitful results of this session.
Twelve years ago in Beijing, state leaders made solemn commitments to women's advancement and women's rights. Since then, the international community has made joint efforts and increased the momentum for gender equality.
China exerted great efforts to fully implement Beijing Platform for Action, the outcome document of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly and Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Policies and programs were continuously improved from different aspects to promote women's advancement.
In 2006, the Chinese government, in collaboration with women's groups, conducted wide-spread advocacy on the Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Chinese Women which was amended in 2005, and pushed for provincial enforcement procedures. Up till now, 5 provinces/municipalities have worked out enforcement procedures, and 18 provinces/municipalities have put it on local legislation agenda. China further standardized legal assistance systems so as to guarantee poor women and children victims' free legal assistance.
In 2006, the National People's Congress deliberated and adopted the National Economic and Social Development Program 2006-2010. For the first time, it devoted a separate chapter to the "Protection of the Rights and Interests of Women and Children". Mid-term evaluation of implementation of Program for the Development of Chinese Women 2001-2010 was conducted last year. Results showed that more than half of targets have been already achieved. Progress was witnessed in women's employment, education, social security, participation in decision-making, health and building a favorable environment for gender equality. However, serious challenges remained in the protection of migrant women's rights, prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and promotion of regional balance.
Last year, the National Statistics Bureau formally incorporated sex-disaggregated indicators into national statistics system. The central and local governments have all established organizations for monitoring and assessment of women's development within their statistical authorities, resulting in a hierarchical framework for dynamic and comprehensive monitoring and assessment of women's development.
Women's and girl's rights are interdependent. Only in a gender-equal society can girls obtain equal rights. Program for the Development of Chinese Women 2001-2010 and Action Plan for the Development of Children 2001-2010 both addressed girls' needs and rights, including increasing girls' health care coverage, incorporating gender awareness in education programs, protecting girl's rights and forbidding maltreatment of girls and children with disabilities, and forbidding infanticide etc.
Chinese government attaches great importance to the issue of high sex-ratio at birth and has adopted a series of measures to address the issue. Strategy has been set to lower it down to reach balance by 2015. Law on Population and Family Planning promulgated in 2001 explicitly prohibits pre-natal sex selection for non-medical purposes and sex-selective termination of pregnancies. In 2002, the government defined the terms of references of all related authorities and introduced "accountability" system in areas that exhibited government inaction and a continuing trend of higher than normal sex ratio at birth. Since 2003, China has piloted with the Care for Girls Initiative in some areas to create a social environment favorable for girls to live and grow. In 2004, the government formulated the Policy for Providing Social Support to Rural Families Practicing Family Planning, i.e., providing financial support to rural couples above 60 and with only one child or two girls. In 2005, the government pushed forward the Care for Girls Initiative nationwide and took comprehensive measures to address the problem of high sex ratio at birth.
The Law on Compulsory Education amended in June 2006 stressed safeguarding girl's equal rights to education. In promotion of children's right to education, the central and local governments spent over 7 billion Yuan in 2005 for tuition remittance for 34 million middle and primary school children. By the end of 2005, entrance rate of school age girls and boys stood at 99.14% and 99.16%, a difference of 0.02%. From 2006 onward, China will move step by step towards full exemption of all tuition and miscellaneous fees for compulsory education in the rural areas, thus eradicating dropping out among girls.
China strengthened international cooperation and assistance on gender equality. In recent years, China provided material and technical assistance to women's organizations and institutions in 56 countries for capacity building, promoting living standards, active participation in community development as well as post-disaster and post-war reconstruction for women. China will host a workshop on gender mainstreaming for ASEAN countries plus China, Japan and Republic of Korea.