To celebrate the upcoming March 8th International Women's Day — a glorious day with a history of over 100 years — the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) held a reception for women from China and abroad in the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, on the afternoon of March 6th, 2014. [Women of China / Zhang Jiamin]
Nearly 1,000 female representatives attended the reception, which included female leaders from different departments of the Communist Party of China, and the Chinese State Government, female academics from the China Academy of Sciences and China Academy of Engineering, female deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) and female members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) from the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, as well as female generals in Beijing. Also present at the event were female ambassadors from foreign embassies in Beijing, spouses of diplomats and female diplomats from various nations, female representatives from United Nations organizations in China, foreign female experts and spouses of foreign experts working in China, and expats who actively support the development of women and children's causes in China.
Distinguished Chinese State leaders present at the event included: Liu Yandong, Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Vice-Premier of the State Council; Li Yuanchao, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice-President of China; Yan Junqi, Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee of the NPC and President of the Central Committee of China Association for Promoting Democracy; Shen Yueyue, Vice-Chair of the NPC Standing Committee and ACWF President; Yang Jiechi, State Councilor; Li Haifeng, Vice-Chair of the National Committee of the CPPCC. Also present were Peng Peiyun, former Vice-Chair of the NPC Standing Committee and former ACWF President; He Luli, former Vice-Chair of the NPC Standing Committee; Gu Xiulian, former Vice-Chair of the NPC Standing Committee, Chair of the China National Committee Caring for the Wellbeing of the Youth, and former ACWF Present; Uyunqimg, former Vice-Chair of the NPC Standing Committee; Chen Zhili, former Vice-Chair of the NPC Standing Committee and former ACWF President; Hao Jianxiu, former Vice-Chair of the CPPCC National Committee; and Wang Zhizhen, former Vice-Chair of the CPPCC National Committee.
On this happy occasion, Shen, on behalf of the ACWF, extended a warm welcome to all the distinguished guests, and expressed her best wishes to sisters of all ethnic groups and from all walks of life in China, and to women around the world. In her speech, Shen noted that the year 2013 was an extraordinary year in China's development process. Under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee, headed by General Secretary Xi Jinping, the Party, the country and the people continue to forge ahead, and have made significant achievements in various causes and undertakings in the spirit of pioneering and innovation.
Shen said that the year 2013 also recorded new developments for the cause of women in China. The convening of the 11th National Women's Congress set an agenda for the targets and tasks of Chinese women's causes for the next five years, elected a new leadership of the ACWF, called on all women in China "to make new contributions for the fulfillment of the Chinese Dream", and focused positive energy to promote the development of socialist causes with Chinese characteristics.
The ACWF, as always, has focused on the central task, and served the overall interests of the government, as well as based itself firmly on the grassroots level and put itself at the forefront in the service of women. The ACWF regards maintaining close ties with women and providing services to women as central tenets, and it has diligently performed its fundamental mandate of representing and safeguarding women's rights and interests and promoting gender equality.
With an emphasis placed on participation from the very beginning, the ACWF actively promoted the inclusion of the proposed Anti-Domestic Violence Law into the legislation plan of the Standing Committee of the NPC, and made a concerted effort to push forward such work as the elimination of gender discrimination in employment. Moreover, the ACWF has organized training sessions and launched projects including "Role Model of Outstanding Women in Different Jobs," aimed at encouraging women to make greater contributions to socioeconomic development.
The ACWF has continued to carry out projects such as the microcredit scheme for women, free breast and cervical cancer screenings for rural women, "Action for the Elimination of Anemia among Infants and Toddlers", "Mother's Water Cellar" and "Health Express for Mothers", taking every effort to bring real benefits to women and children.
Efforts have also been made to effectively advocate for ethics in families, and to develop family education and domestic services to improve women's livelihood and promote social harmony. Exchanges between women from China and abroad have also been boosted, further enhancing the mutual understanding and friendship between Chinese women and women from all over the world.
Shen called upon women all over the world to cherish the same hopes and aspirations to promote gender equality, pursue development and strive for peace with concrete actions. Looking back, Shen said that the global women's movement has made impressive achievements; looking forward, there is still a long way to go to attain gender equality. The ACWF will be more than happy to join hearts and hands with women and women's organizations all over the world to make new and greater contributions to the promotion of gender equality, emancipation and development of women and lasting peace and common prosperity in the world.
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