Shaanxi Women's Federation Sets Goal to Raise Citizens' Happiness Index

August 16, 2017
By Zhao Yong and Dang BofengEditor: Rong Chen

Gong Xiaoyan, president of Shaanxi Women's Federation in northwest China, says her organization aims to raise the level of happiness in the province through persistent hard work, according to a recent interview.

Speaking with China Women's News, Gong urged officials to stick to the Party leadership regarding politics as a main theme throughout the reform; strengthen the so-called "Four Consciousnesses", namely the "consciousnesses of the ideology, the whole, the core and the line"; and, make solid reform progress.

Gong was elected as president of Shaanxi Women's Federation in January 2016. Since then, quarterly assessment reports from the provincial Party committee and government have indicated that the organization has achieved much progress.

In the interview, Gong also instructed officials to have an open mind in advancing reform, with concern for the overall national situation and local conditions.

Furthermore, Gong highlighted four issues for federation reform.

Firstly, officials should have strong work responsibilities and play the role of "nails" in carrying out reform initiatives.

Secondly, officials should strengthen the building of a closely connected organizational system featuring improved grassroots work vigor, optimized leadership and expanded coverage.

By the end of the year, the province will have complemented the replacement of Women's Representative Conferences with federations. Moreover, township federations will have fulfilled their regional construction reform.

Later this year, the provincial federation also plans to establish an Internet Information Broadcasting Center and a new venue for women and children to be run alongside the current Provincial Women and Children's Activity Center. 

The organization will assist and supervise the establishment of women's groups among non-government organizations, according to a notice jointly issued by Shaanxi Women's Federation, the Provincial Party Committee Organization Department and the Provincial Civil Affairs Department.

Thirdly, the federation will strengthen its collaboration with government departments and news media platforms in order to promote federation initiatives in public.

Statistics show women's federations across the province have recently added 15,000 part-time vice-presidents, 35,000 executive committee members, another 15,000 professionals specializing in safeguarding women's rights and interests, and over 300,000 female volunteers.

Lastly, the federation should expand its influence through the Online Women's Federation platform, with a financial budget of nearly 2 million yuan (U.S.$ 299,000) from the Provincial Office of Cyberspace Administration.

For example, the federation's initiative Looking for the Most Beautiful Family in Shaanxi and the Women-20 Conference (a fringe event of the G20 Summit) both attracted millions of views online.

The federation's online network aims to reach more people with highlighted themed activities and favorable interactive approaches, Gong commented.

Federation Initiatives to Tackle Poverty Problems

Shaanxi has large numbers of residents who are living in poverty, with a high percentage of them being women. The area is listed among 56 counties that rank as having national-level abject poverty.

Assisting women in shaking off poverty is one way to represent and further safeguard their rights to living and development, Gong pointed out.

It is also a key political task for federations to carry out women-related poverty-relief initiatives.

The president urged the organization to take advantage of its strength in leading women to win the battle against poverty.

The organization and the Provincial Poverty Relief Office will jointly carry out initiatives for the benefit of impoverished women, she said.

Specifically, current and future activities include those fostering women's ambition, improving their capabilities, assisting startups and handicrafts, and strengthening mutual assistance through healthy and benevolent programs.

Moreover, training sessions across the province will enable trainees to learn practical skills of handicrafts production and domestic services.

So far, over 1,000 people have attended provincial programs and later spread their knowledge among 40,000 people during 300 training sessions organized by women's federations at different levels.

Meanwhile, over 80,000 women attended government-run training sessions directly.

Statistics reveal the province has a total of 2,846 women's economic entities involve in manual production and operations, involving 320,000 women employees and further yielding an output value of 1.6 billion yuan (U.S.$ 239 million).

Besides, 419 women's housekeeping service agencies and 59 training bases have so far employed 158,000 women.

Different regions have explored various poverty alleviation initiatives based on local conditions, Gong said.

In the south of the province, an innovative "4+1" poverty relief work model managed to raise social funds worth of 100 million yuan (U.S.$ 15 million) to carry out targeted initiatives for the benefit of women and children. 

Gong's Remarks

At the 13th Provincial Party Congress, Gong put forward a series of "new" approaches to make the province a better place to live.

Women's federations across the province should take the initiative and focus on the overall situation of serving women whilst advancing reform, she urged.

To make further progress, the federation should make use of its organizational strength in leading women during their development and carrying out poverty-alleviation initiatives.

The president also stressed the importance of women's closer connections among households and the federation's solid progress in greeting the upcoming 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

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

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