|Artists from Kyrgyzstan stage a performance at a dance show held during an SCO members' art festival in Beijing on June 1. [Photo/Xinhua]|
Women's greater involvement in innovation and entrepreneurship can help boost sustainable development and reduce dire poverty, according to the outcome document of the first Shanghai Cooperation Organization Forum on Women, held in Beijing last month.
The document, to be presented to the SCO Summit in Qingdao, Shandong province, said the forum participants believed women should have better access to quality education and productive resources, and be encouraged to participate in innovation and entrepreneurship.
The forum, held on May 17, had the theme of "pooling the strength of women for common development" and attracted more than 200 participants, including those from SCO member countries and the United Nation.
The statement said such efforts could provide a strong boost to "poverty reduction, job creation, inclusive economic growth and sustainable development".
It also noted women's importance in environmental conservation, and called for SCO countries to raise women's voices in eco-governance and ensure their full and equal participation as well as access to the benefits.
Efforts should be made to further strengthen women's exchanges and cooperation within the SCO framework, diversify means of cooperation and enhance women's ability to participate in local and global socioeconomic development, it said.
Xia Jie, Vice-President of the All-China Women's Federation, said women are a great force whose gender dividend is far from being fully realized.
"We need to do our best to clear the obstacles that suppress women's potential," she said. "We need to support their innovation and development, and liberate their productivity so as to help them make their contributions in every field and facilitate development in their countries."
Women account for 43 percent of China's workforce, the federation said, while 55 percent of internet-related businesses in China have been launched by women.
Women accounted for 52 percent of junior college students in 2016 as well as 53 percent of postgraduate students, it said. In 2014, 49 percent of postgraduate students were women.
A total of 345 billion yuan ($54.1 billion) in venture capital loans have been granted to women since 2009.
(Source: China Daily)
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