Lakshmi Puri, assistant secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), accompanied by Julia Broussard, country programme manager of the UN Women China Office, recently visited China Women's University (CWU), during her trip to China's Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which was held in Beijing from May 13-16.
On behalf of the university, Li Mingshun, chairperson of the CWU Council, first extended his warm welcome to the UN officials.
At the event, Li gave a general introduction to the CWU's history and development in talent training, discipline construction, international exchanges and social services, as well as their positive social influence, especially in respect to achievements in supporting gender equality and women's education in the third world.
Li said that the principle of "wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, which was emphasized by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Belt and Road Forum, is not only suitable for international cooperation, but also applies to promoting the cause of gender equality.
Liu Liqun, president of the CWU, gave a speech at the meeting. She said that the CWU is peculiar not only because it is the first and the only state-owned women's university, affiliated to the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), but also because its unique missions and values are to adhere to the basic state policy of gender equality; devote itself to the training of young women's self-esteem, confidence and self-reliance; and push forward women's overall development and the protection of women's rights and interests.
Liu also reviewed the cooperation between the CWU and UN Women in promoting gender equality and women's participation in politics.
The UN senior officials' visit to the university provides a good opportunity for the CWU to work with UN Women, playing a greater role in promoting women's development and gender equality across the globe, said the president.
Lakshmi Puri said that China and UN Women jointly organized the Global Summit of Women in 2015 and she expected to use the summit as a trigger to call on the international community to reach a consensus and make greater progress in promoting the development of women's careers all over the world.
The UN official emphasized that the UN Sustainable Development Goals will continue to play a key role in directing global development work from 2015-2030 after the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals.
As an important part of achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, gender equality (Goal 5) focuses on gender discrimination against women, gender-based violence and harmful practices that infringe upon the rights and interests of women and girls, as well as women's full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.
Gender equality and women's empowerment are equally important in fulfilling those specific goals, and as a consequence, the UN should promote gender mainstreaming in every sustainable development goal, concluded the official.
Lakshmi Puri spoke highly of the development concept of the CWU. She believed that achieving gender equality cannot happen without the support of young people.
"The CWU plays an important role in promoting gender equality and cultivating excellent female youth", said the official. She expected to establish extensive cooperation with the university, with a view to promoting gender equality and women's empowerment; enhancing women's leadership; and making greater contributions to cultivating more talented women for developing countries.
Liu Meng, vice-president of the CWU, presided over the meeting. Relevant directors from the International Liaison Department, School of International Education, Publicity Department, Foreign Languages Department and School of Cultural Communication also attended the event.
Lakshmi Puri is assistant secretary-general of the UN and deputy executive director of UN Women. Joining the leadership team in 2011 at the inception of UN Women, she has contributed strategically and vitally to building this new and dynamic entity. She is directly responsible for the leadership and management of the Bureau for Intergovernmental Support, UN System Coordination, and Strategic Partnerships.
(Source: China Women's University / Translated and edited by Gender Study Network)
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