China's women at the crossroads – UN experts

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A woman selling handicrafts. City of Beijing. China.ILO@PHOTO – Crozet M.

China has made remarkable strides in improving women's lives, but there is insufficient implementation of relevant laws and more action is needed to ensure women's full participation in economic and political spheres.

That's the finding of the UN Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice.

The Working Group says as the country faces unprecedented challenges in an increasingly aging and mobile society and in a highly competitive market economy, China’s women are at an historical crossroad between bearing the disproportionate burden of care and being equal decision makers in China’s new path of deepening reforms.

The Working Group says China has exceeded the 2015 Millennium Development Goals in increasing the level of education for girls and in reducing maternal mortality. However, the women of China still lag behind men in political and economic participation.

The Working Group called for a comprehensive gender policy to be integrated into the agenda for reform at the Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, and for women's full and effective participation in the design and implementation of China's macro-economic policies.

It emphasized that urgent action is necessary to ensure the equal participation of women in top decision-making bodies, including by the use of temporary special measures.

The Working Group undertook its first visit to the People's Republic of China from 12 to 19 December 2013 to assess the progress made towards achieving gender equality and the protection and promotion of women's human rights in particular in women's economic and social life.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’28″

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