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Cause of gender equality enjoys sustained, healthy development in China

By Zhou Shanshan, People’s Daily Women’s status mirrors a country’s social etiquette and civility. In China, female pediatric intensive care specialist Qian Suyun, who has nearly 40 years of pediatric experience, has brought a ray of hope to numerous children in emergency and critical conditions with her superb medical skills and ethics. Bi Lixia, a woman that heads a rice farming cooperative in Jianli, central China’s Hubei province, has actively applied technologies in rice growing, contributing her strength to maintaining food security. They are representatives of today’s females and have proven that women are creators of material and spiritual wealth and represent an important force driving social development and progresswith concrete actions. Such progress is inseparable from the high-quality development of the cause of gender equality in China in the new era. China attaches high importance to the cause of gender equality. In the country, women are able to exercise their democratic rights, participate in economic and social development, and benefit from the outcomes of reforms and development on an equal and legal basis. So far, it has built a legal system for the protection of women’s rights and interests, which covers over 100 separate laws and regulations. The average life expectancy of women has exceeded 80 years. The gender gap in the nine-year compulsory education has been basically eliminated. Women accounted for over 50 percent of students in institutions of higher education. As of the end of 2020, the number of women participating in maternity insurance had reached 103 million, and 650 million women participated in basic medical insurance. Women accounted for 40 percent of the labor force and 45.8 percent of the total science and technology personnel across China. These sets of data reflect the efforts made by China to promote the cause of gender equality, the solid guarantee for women’s rights and interests, the broad rights and interests enjoyed by women, and the increasingly prominent role of women in economic and social development. Women are gaining increasing senses of achievement, happiness and safety, and their confidence is growing in pursuing their own dreams. In the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the country vowed to remain committed to the fundamental national policy of gender equality and protect the lawful rights and interests of women and children, eliminate unjustified restrictions and discrimination that undermine equal employment, and establish a policy system to boost birth rates. It has charted the course for achieving greater gender equality. The cause of gender equality in China is entering a golden period featuring more benefits for women, a better development environment, and leapfrogging progress. From finding a balance between work and family tobreaking through the glass ceiling in the workplace, Chinesewomen’s development is supported by the entire society. As relevant parties work together to keep advancing the healthy development of gender equality, the cause will see broader and brighter prospects.

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