Legislative Efforts Support Work on Women, Children

September 17, 2015
Editor: Arnold Hou

Protecting Women's Human Rights 

In March 2004, the Amendments to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China were adopted by the National People's Congress. "The State respects and preserves human rights" was written into the Constitution, which guaranteed Chinese people's human rights, and which created a better legal environment for the development of women's human rights.

China since 2010 has amended the Electoral Law of the People's Republic of China for the National People's Congress and Local People's Congresses, the Organic Law of the Villagers' Committees of the People's Republic of China and the Special Rules on the Labor Protection of Female Employees.

The amendments to the Electoral Law of the People's Republic of China for the National People's Congress and Local People's Congresses stipulate, "Among deputies to the National People's Congress and local people's congresses, at various levels, there shall be an appropriate number of women deputies, and the proportion thereof shall be raised gradually."

The Organic Law of the Villagers Committees of the People's Republic of China states that women members shall account for at least one-third of a villagers' committee."

The Social Insurance Law of the People's Republic of China includes a chapter on maternity insurance. The law was adopted in 2010.

Fighting Violence Against Women 

The Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress in 2013 included the formulation of the Law Against Domestic Violence in its five-year legislative plan. The government consulted the public on the draft of the law, which was published on November 25, 2014.

To date, 29 provinces (or autonomous regions or municipalities) have implemented regulations and policies on preventing and combating domestic violence.

In April 2012, the Special Rules on the Labor Protection of Female Employees was promulgated by the State Council. The rules stipulate that employers shall prevent and stop sexual harassment of female employees in the workplace. That was the first time the issue of sexual harassment was written into national labor regulations.

Amendments to the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, adopted on August 29, 2015, included the reclassification of the crime of sex with underage prostitutes as rape. This represents progress in the protection of underage girls, and it is expected to help courts impose punishment.

Ensuring Women's Economic Rights 

The Social Insurance Law of the People's Republic of China (promulgated in 2011), the Special Rules on the Labor Protection of Female Employees (promulgated in 2012) and the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Occupational Diseases (amended in 2011) guarantee women their economic rights.

The 12th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of the People's Republic of China (2011-2015) and China's National Program for Women's Development (2011-2020) have helped protect women's economic rights.

The All-China Federation of Trade Unions in 2011 issued a circular on promoting development of women workers' organizations under trade unions, and it urged all employers to sign special collective contracts, which protect women's rights, with female employees.

The Chinese Government in 2014 implemented regulations regarding the protection of rural women's rights during rural land-contract registration and issuance of land-contract certificates. Some local governments have established trial mechanisms, to gain experience in including gender awareness in laws and policies.

The Decision of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on Some Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Deepening the Reform, adopted during the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the CPC, stated (the government) "will remove all institutional barriers and employment discrimination that affect equal employment, such as the birthplace of a person (cities or countryside), industries, social status and gender."

The General Office of the State Council in 2013 issued a circular on the employment of college graduates, which forbade employers to use certain conditions, such as gender, as requirements for the job applicants.

Supporting Girls' Development 

China has constantly implemented — to protect girls' rights — the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Minors, the Compulsory Education Law of the People's Republic of China and the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women.

China's National Program for Child Development (2011-2020) includes the principle of "putting children first," and it calls for the elimination of discrimination against girls and encourages awareness of gender equality throughout society.

China's National Program for Women's Development (2011-2020) states that girls must be guaranteed equal access to preschool, compulsory and high school education, and that girls should not be forced to drop out of school because of poverty.

The 12th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of the People's Republic of China (2011-2015) included a section, for the first time, that urged relevant departments to give priority to the promotion of children's development, and it called for the elimination of discrimination against girls and cracking down on crimes such as child trafficking and abandonment.

Guaranteeing Women's Health

The National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012-2015), released by the State Council in 2012, includes a statement that guarantees women's health.

The 12th Five-Year Plan for Public Health Development set the goal of improving health education and maternal and infant healthcare services.

The National Program for Women's Development (2011-2020) set women's health as a priority of development, and set objectives and strategies concerning the guarantee of women's health.

Amendments to the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women stipulated that women's rights to life and health is inviolable. The Law on Maternal and Infant Healthcare, the Law of the People's Republic of China on Population and Family Planning and the Special Rules on Labor Protection of Female Employees guarantee women's health.

(Women of China)

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Background
  • Legal Environment for Women and Children

    Lawyers and rights groups held a press conference in Beijing on December 15, 2014 to discuss their suggestions to help improve China’s new draft law on domestic violence.
    Lawyers and rights groups held a press conference in Beijing on December 15, 2014 to discuss their suggestions to help improve China’s new draft law on domestic.

  • National Policy

    Lawyers and rights groups held a press conference in Beijing on December 15, 2014 to discuss their suggestions to help improve China’s new draft law on domestic violence.
    Lawyers and rights groups held a press conference in Beijing on December 15, 2014 to discuss their suggestions to help improve China’s new draft law on domestic violence.

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