Provincial Women's Federations Take Steps to Improve Family Mediation

September 4, 2017
By China Women's NewsEditor: Penny Huang

Local women's federations in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, recently introduced improvements to mediation services for family and marital disputes.

For example, authorities in Jianghan District have established a work coordination group in the district's women's federation.

The group members have offered mediation services to 335 couples.

Xu Li, president of Wuhan Women's Federation, said the municipal organization has set up marriage and family dispute mediation centers in divorce registries in nine regions.

"We planned to further cover the institutions in all 13 districts across the city by the end of 2017," said Xu.

On June 23, the Jiangxia District Marriage and Family Disputes Mediation Center set up offices for investigation, mediation, family guidance and lecturing about related laws.

Meanwhile, Jiangxia Women's Federation, Jiangxia Judicial Bureau and Jiangxia Civil Affairs Bureau jointly applied for special working funds to recruit five chief mediators at the center.

In less than a month, they dealt with 66 divorce disputes, assisting some 10 couples in maintaining their marital status.

In the first week of August, professionals offered seven marriage-related consultations, accepted 62 disputes and dealt with 16 cases.

With their efforts, the district government has allocated 360,000 yuan (U.S.$ 53,730) from its budget each year to support the center's operation.

As the first of its kind, the center, set up in a divorce registry in the civil affairs bureau, is set to act as a role model for other regions in Wuhan.

On July 5, 2017, Wuhan Women's Federation jointly issued the Notice on Establishing Wuhan Marriage and Family Dispute Mediation Committee with the comprehensive management office, the intermediate people's court, the public security bureau, the civil affairs bureau and the judicial bureau at the municipal level.

Specifically, the document specifies arrangements to prevent and deal with household conflicts, enhance family harmony and safeguard social stability.

According to officials, district-level women's federations across Wuhan have fully played their unique roles in mediating family issues and elaborated working methods.

In particular, the marriage registration office of the civil affairs bureau cooperated with Women's Home centers, courts, related social organizations, comprehensive management centers and community service centers, providing the public with services on psychological and legal consultation, family and marriage guidance, housework skill training sessions and related legal publicity.

In addition, setting up the registration and feedback mechanisms, volunteers, social workers, experts and officials will make efforts to benefit more families.

In 2017, the municipal consulting service center for rights protection, affiliated to the federation, has been upgraded into a comprehensive service platform with departments of publicity, legal consultation, mental guidance and dispute mediation.

By integrating social resources, employing professional teams and utilizing program-oriented operation modes, the organization aims to offer year-round services with quality and effectiveness in multiple aspects.

Up till now, the center has absorbed two consulting programs and 13 full-time staff for the operation.

The women's federation's hotline has also been integrated with the mayoral phone hotline 12345 to protect women's legal rights and interests.

Furthermore, women's federations in Hongshan, Jianghan and Qiaokou districts have signed agreements with social organizations to delegate them to develop legal consultation and psychological counseling.

(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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