ACWF President's Speech at the Reception for Women in Commemoration of International Women's Day

March 9, 2017
Editor: Arnold Hou
Shen Yueyue, vice chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and ACWF president, delivers a speech. [Women of China/Fan Wenjun]


Speech at the Reception for Women from China and Abroad in Commemoration of the March 8th International Women's Day

Shen Yueyue

Vice Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, President of the All-China Women's Federation


Distinguished Guests,

Dear Friends and Sisters,

Good afternoon!

We gather here today to celebrate the March 8th International Women's Day. On behalf of the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), I would like to extend our warm welcome to all the distinguished guests from home and abroad, and to express our festival greetings and best wishes to our sisters of all ethnic groups and all walks of life in China, and to women of the world.

For China the year 2016 was the beginning year of the decisive phase in completing the construction of a moderately prosperous society in all aspects. Over the past year, the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, headed by General Secretary Xi Jinping, grasped the overall domestic and international situations, adhered to the basic tone of "seeking progress while maintaining stability", vigorously promoted the supply-side structural reform and sounded the charge to fight the tough battle against poverty, achieving new major progress in all aspects of economic, political, cultural, social and ecological development and Party construction. All these have ensured a good start of the "13th Five-Year Plan".

Since the 18th Party Congress, the CPC Central Committee, headed by General Secretary Xi Jinping, has attached great importance to women's cause. General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward many new ideas, new statements and new demands on women's work, and pointed out directions and offered guidance for advancing women's cause. Last year, women's development and rights protection registered new progress. The General Office of the CPC Central Committee issued the Program on Reform of All-China Women's Federation; the 6th National Conference on Women and Children was successfully convened; and the interim review of the implementation of the two development programs, namely China's National Program for Women's Development and the National Program for Child Development in China, was completed successfully. Hundreds of millions of women, with the spirit of self-respect, self-confidence, self-reliance and self-improvement, dedicated themselves to social and economic development and displayed their unique feature with great achievements and contributions.

The year 2016 is also to be commemorated and remembered as a year of ACWF reforms and innovations. Guided by the spirit of the CPC Conference on Mass Organizations and with focus on promoting economic and social development during the "13th Five-Year Plan" period, we carried out series of actions so that women would give their unique role in social and family life a full play. We carried out the "Women Entrepreneurship and Innovation Action". This program granted RMB50.221 billion guaranteed loans to women by 607,700 person-times and trained women by 4 million person-times throughout the year, supporting millions of women to actively participate in e-commerce entrepreneurship and mass innovation. The "Poverty Alleviation Action for Women" helped 610,000 poor women to set up their own businesses and supported 568,000 women to increase their income and shake off poverty. In the action of Family Culture Construction to further promote family well-being, family education and family ethics, we carried out activities of looking for "the Most Beautiful Families" in both urban and rural areas, and put into practice the "Program of Care for Left-behind Children in Rural Areas". We took active actions in protecting women's rights in accordance with law by sparing no effort to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of women in equal employment, land use and participation in grassroots self-governance. We also helped women tackle their practical difficulties and needs. Last year, free cervical and breast cancer screenings were provided for over 11.20 million rural women, and over 30,000 poor women suffering breast cancer or cervical cancer received financial aid for treatment. We continued charity programs including the "Spring Bud Project", "Water Cellars for Mothers Project", "Happy Home for Children" and "Nutrition Improvement for Children", benefiting millions of poor women and children. We also pushed forward the reform of ACWF itself with vim and vigor. Always bearing in mind  our nature as an advanced mass organization of political integrity, we enhanced our grassroots work forces, improved online services for women, and innovated our work at the federation. We promoted exchanges with women in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, strengthened exchanges and cooperation and enhanced friendship between women of China and women of foreign countries.

In 2017, the CPC will convene its 19th National Congress. We will rally closely around the CPC Central Committee headed by General Secretary Xi Jinping, unite and lead hundreds of millions of women to follow the Party, forge ahead and work hard to greet the forthcoming congress with our outstanding achievements.

Sisters and friends,

Let us join hands to speed up our efforts for the advancement of women in all aspects, for the construction of a community with shared future by all human beings, and for the development of a harmonious world of all-win cooperation, a harmonious world shared by all.

I wish you all enjoy the International Women's Day, and wish everyone a happy life and successful career.

Thank you.

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