Song Xiuyan, vice-president and first member of the Secretariat of the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), inspected the women's federation reform work and poverty-alleviation initiatives in north China's Shanxi Province from June 6- 9.
Leading a team of officials, Song visited the provincial cities of Taiyuan, Yuncheng, Linfen and Lüliang.
Relevant federation reform initiatives were noted in Leijiapo Village of Yuncheng, Huwa Village of Linfen, and Taiyuan's Lihua Community and Yingze Street.
There, local federations completed the work of replacing Women's Representative Congresses, building regional organizations, improving the network of connections among local people, and recruiting part-time vice-presidents and executive committee members.
"I used to work alone in the past and could not handle many work tasks in the village's women's representative congress," said a grassroots federation president.
"Since the replacement changes, newly-added executive members make use of their respective resources in organizing more activities such as handicrafts lessons, agriculture-entertainment events and square dances."
"We federation officials lead women to participate in events based on their needs and interests," she added.
"The federation has served the broader population and extended coverage among the people, thus requiring officials to improve the grassroots organization structure," said Song after listening to the officials' reports.
Song also encouraged the federation to involve more and more capable and influential women into the organization; expand coverage further among villages and communities; and, establish an intertwined, solid and multi-level work scheme of connecting people that can serve women through the so-called "last mile."
Grassroots Reform Initiatives
To better make use of the federation's advantages, Linfen Women's Federation issued a detailed list featuring individuals' contact information and officials' job responsibilities among the city's over 30,000 executive committee members.
In Yuncheng, the local federation's part-time vice-president, Ding Huirong, has led female villagers to attend training sessions at her self-managed fruit corp. This event increased local women's average annual revenues by 4,000 yuan (U.S.$ 590) per person.
In the county of Hongtong, Tian Yaxin, the chief judge of a grassroots tribunal, serves as part-time vice-president of the local federation. Tian took advantage of her dual role in uniting some 94 officials and volunteers to reconcile in relevant filing cases of family disputes.
Song said, federation reform initiatives not only aim to build a complete organizational network, but combine efforts from federation officials, including full-time, part-time officials and executive committee members.
Those officials play a role in serving women, uniting women around the Party, and encouraging work vigor at grassroots levels.
Grassroots Poverty Alleviation
During her inspection of each place, Song carefully checked the records of local impoverished women and asked about the current conditions of poverty alleviation.
Effective federation events included developing women's handicrafts in Gu County of Linfen; agriculture entertainment in Guihua Village of Lüliang; and food processing in Qianqingtang Village of Lüliang.
Song stressed, the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with President Xi Jinping as the core leader has attached great importance to villages' poverty-alleviation initiatives.
As Shanxi has a large impoverished population, women's federations should accurately understand local underprivileged women's conditions and carry out targeted and innovative initiatives in implementing relevant women's poverty-relief events.
Song highlighted many women-related events such as the subsidized microcredit scheme and local distinctive industries.
She also encouraged capable people to take a lead in poverty relief, production development, improving people's lives and the building of a moderately prosperous society.
The brand Lüliang Nursing Staff is a popular distinctive labor service involving over 5,000 people nationwide.
It is supported by the Lüliang Municipal Party Committee and government.
Taking the opportunity offered by federation reform, Lüliang Women's federation launched a special online organization for connecting nursing staff, including those working outside the province.
Song praised the online initiative for being a pragmatic and targeted effort to boost poverty relief.
This type of innovative grassroots organization meets the needs of migrant nurses in terms of working, living and studying, she said.
Also, it helps the federation broaden its coverage in uniting migrant female workers and supporting them in their spirit and emotions.
Through this online organization's service and guidance, women can feel the care shown toward them from the federation, Song said.
At a symposium, Song gave her approval to the reform achievements made by women's federations in Shanxi.
The Shanxi Provincial Party Committee and government departments attach great importance to women's work.
With various departments' close cooperation, women's federations at different levels in Shanxi have worked hard to achieve a good start to federation reform as well as solid reform progress.
This year marks a key period in deepening women's federation reform, Song stressed.
Women's federations at various levels should implement Xi's keynote remarks on the reform of mass organizations.
Song urged federation officials to play the role of "nails" in implementing reform tasks; stick to the correct direction of the reform; consistently follow the CPC leadership; and maintain their work's politically advanced nature of serving women.
No matter what reform initiatives or innovations they make, federation officials should insist on leading women to follow the CPC leadership and consolidating the Party's roots, Song said.
Officials should stick to following the center-focused work style; serving the overall situation; and contributing to women's efforts in the nation's reform, development and stability.
Song urged grassroots federations to improve their services to women and safeguard rights and interests.
She also encouraged officials to further improve their work concepts; study the federation's organizational features and work rules so that the federations could better meet the needs of current times and women's changes.
These include the federation's work style, operating mechanism, management mode, and organization structure.
Song urged more efforts in promoting the grassroots federations' organizational re-construction; advancing the replacement of Women's Representative Congresses at villages with women's federations; improving township-level federations' regional construction and the building of flexible organizations among various fields.
Consolidating the network of connecting and serving women could reveal the spirit of the context of Xi's remarks about "A Hundred Responses to a Call", Song stressed.
Moreover, Song encouraged federations to add capable people in carrying out women's activities that they can also represent females' positive social ethos.
Such initiatives would show the federation's strength as a mass organization and help more women improve their senses of identity, belonging and achievement.
Song urged federations to strengthen online construction; strengthen women's education online and offline; combine collaborative guidance and services to women; and, take advantage of the internet and new media in carrying out relevant innovative initiatives.
Federations should “show their flag” and have a voice in carrying out women-related work; serve as a bridge or assistant in the overall situation of the Party's work toward the general population; guide women to closely unite around the CPC Central Committee with Xi as its core leader; and, embrace the upcoming 19th CPC National Congress.
Song met with Luo Huining, secretary of Shanxi Provincial Party Committee and director of the executive committee of the Provincial People's Congress.
During the inspection, Song was accompanied by Huang Xiaowei and Zhu Xianqi, respectively.
Huang serves as vice-secretary of Shanxi Provincial Party Committee and Zhu serves as vice-chairperson of Shanxi People's Political Consultative Conference.
(Source: Women Voice/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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