China celebrates women’s achievements on International Women’s Day

China 24

China celebrates women's achievements on International Women's Day

On this International Women’s Day,  the world is celebrating the progress and achievements of women.

For its part, China established Women’s Day as an official holiday in 1949.

Female employees get a half-day off from work.

It’s like a combination of Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day where women are given gifts and other tokens of gratitude.

It’s also a day for women across China to reflect on how far they’ve come and far they have to go.

CGTN’s Frances Kuo has more.

This year’s international women’s day comes amid unprecedented global movements on gender equality and justice.

Campaigns like #MeToo have galvanized greater solidarity among women against sexual harassment, domestic violence and gender discrimination.

China has been inspired by this determination for change – officials say the country will continue to uphold the lawful rights and interests of women.

“In China, new achievements in women’s rights are constantly being made,” said Shen Yueyue, President of the All-China Women’s Federation.  “The scale of employment for women has continued to expand, the number of poor women in rural areas has drastically decreased and women’s equal rights have been effectively protected. Today, women have a greater sense of fulfilment, happiness and security.”

Over the past decade, women have climbed the ranks in fields such as science, technology, education and politics.

According to official statistics, 742 female deputies make up the 13th National People’s Congress, a quarter of the full body.

Four-hundred and 40 female members comprise a fifth of the 13th CPPCC, China’s top political advisory body. Those are slight increase from the 12th editions.

And the growing presence of influential females can also be seen in China’s public service sector.

“Since the 18th National Congress, the status of women in China has improved significantly,” said Mou Hong, Director of the International Liaison Department.  “The frequent amendments to the various laws and policies have better ensured equal rights for women… this, together with our efforts in providing more vocational training for women, has all contributed to the increase of female participation in government affairs as well as in other fields.”

Pushing that cause is the All-China Women’s Federation, formed in 1949.  It advocates for gender parity for all ethnic groups.

The business sector has seen an increasing number of female leaders.

Yang Huiyan, a real estate developer, was named the world’s 5th richest woman by Forbes Magazine, with a net worth of more than $23 billion.

Also among China’s richest women is Zhang Xin, Co-Founder and CEO of real estate developer SOHO China.

“China is an incredible place for women,” Zhang said.  “If you look at the private sector, there’s such a great atmosphere.” BUTT TO “Part of it is because we have gone through the Cultural Revolution when we were taught from a young age that women can raise half the sky.”

Karen Woods discusses progress in gender equality in China

CGTN’s Mike Walter talks with Karen Woods of Solstice Public Affairs about progress in gender equality in China.