Authorities in east China's Shandong Province have demonstrated that its strategy for law-based governance includes the improvement of legislation, regulations and policies for protecting women and children's rights and interests.
The newly-revised Methods for the Election of Villagers' Committees of Shandong Province clearly specifies that women take precedence in elections, and a special quota should be reserved for the election of female committee members – achieving a breakthrough in the guaranteeing of rural women's political rights, according to commentators.
All residents' and villagers' committees in the province have female members. The percentage of female directors of residents' and villagers' committees is 36.22 percent and 14.81 percent, respectively.
Also, all of the provincial, city- and county-level Party committees and governments have female officials in leadership groups.
Since the implementation of the 12th Five-year Plan for Women and Children's Development of Shandong Province, local authorities at all levels have made persistent efforts in promoting various work related to women and children.
Of the 42 projects carried out by the provincial government to improve people's livelihood, 15 directly related to women and children's immediate interests. Local authorities at all levels have taken over 1,000 practical measures to benefit women and children.
The main goals have been basically achieved, said officials. The realization degree of most development targets, especially those regarding women and children's education, health, social security and welfare, are higher than the national average level.
Shandong has widely implemented projects that benefit the health of all women and children in the province, and major public health schemes, including investing 1.189 billion yuan (U.S.$ 179,580,123) in the free breast and cervical cancer screening services for 13.0675 million rural women.
Children in need, such as orphans, rural "left-behind" children (those whose parents have become migrant workers in towns or cities, leaving them either unsupervised or in the care of relatives) and urban migrant children, have received more care and protection from society.
Authorities have also improved the province's service system for women's entrepreneurship and employment, such as introducing favorable policies; enhancing training and developing posts; and, establishing platforms for women to help them achieve development at a higher level and in a wider field.
Of those employed in the province, over 44 percent are women. Some 2.869 million new urban jobs have been created for women, and female citizens have received entrepreneurial services over 1 million person/times. Around 599,000 women have started their own businesses.
Rights and Interests Protection
Authorities in the province have vigorously investigated and punished illegal behavior such as forcing female workers to work overtime or under high intensity; disobeying the principle of equal pay between men and women; or, hiring child laborers.
Over 98 percent of such reported cases have been handled, and 266,000 local companies have signed 153,000 contracts for protecting female workers' rights and interests.
(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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