Northwestern City Promotes Women, Children's All-round Development

July 31, 2017
By China Women's NewsEditor: Penny Huang

Authorities in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, have the highlighted comprehensive development of women and children's causes in recent years, making great achievement on the protection of rights and interests, say officials.

With guidance by the municipal government, the municipal Party committee and superior working committee on children and women, the development of local women and children have kept pace with economic advancement.

On the 6th National Working Conference on Women and Children in 2016, Xi'an Municipal Working Committee on Children and Women was honored as the National-level Advanced Group on Implementing the Women and Children's Development Plan.

Comprehensive Development on Women, Children

1. Constant Improvements of Women and Children's Health

By 2015, the rates of the systematic management for pregnant women, prenatal checkups and hospital deliveries have significantly increased across Xi'an.

From 2010-2015, the mortality rate of pregnant women and new moms in Xi'an has decreased from 168.8 per million to 129.3 per million.

The free common disease checkup rate for women has reached 87.18 percent and the medical checkup rate for female elders above 65 was 83.6 percent.

The city has also constantly improved the level of health for children.

The morality rate of infants has reduced from 3.76 per thousand in 2010 to 2.77 per thousand in 2015 and the mortality rate of children under five has experienced a decrease from 4.76 per thousand to 3.92 per thousand.

The vaccine coverage for children has remained over 99.9 percent.

2. Promoting Balanced Compulsory Educational Resources

According to statistics, the gross enrolment rate for preschool education in Xi'an has increased from 87.74 percent in 2010 to 98.96 percent, while the primary and junior high school enrollment rates have both remained over 99 percent.

Meanwhile, the city has extended the coverage of high-quality fundamental education and realized the balanced development of compulsory education.

3. Improvements in Women's Participation in Decision-Making and Management on Social Affairs

In terms of women's political engagement, the quota of female deputies to the 16th Xi'an Municipal People's Congress has reached 29.5 percent, with a rise of 10.2 percent compared with the last session.

Meanwhile, female members of the 16th CPPCC Xi'an Committee accounted for 27.9 percent.

The number of women in local governments has also increased and the proportion of women civil servants has reached 22.8 percent.

In addition, women have attended many significant events and played a vital role in the advancement of the Belt and Road Initiative and friendly international exchanges.

Departments' Joint Efforts to Safeguard Women, Children's Rights, Interests

During the last five years, multiple departments in Xi'an have made joint efforts to safeguard women and children's comprehensive development.

1. Enhancement of Employment, Social Security

Regarding women's development in the workplace, the number of female employers across the city accounted for 44 percent of the total employed population in 2015.

A constantly increasing number of women have received professional training sessions and the proportion of rural women who obtained certificates related to practical skills has also risen.

Among senior professional technicians in State-owned enterprises and institutions, about 47.5 percent were women.

At least 50 percent of Xi'an residents' medical expenses involving 12 categories of serious illness, including breast and cervical cancers, have been paid by medical insurance.

For children in Xi'an, the rehabilitation aid plan has covered all disabled individuals under 16, and the nutrition improvement plan has benefited some 383,000 students during their compulsory-educational period.

In five years, related departments have assisted 16,515 children from disadvantaged families with 83.03 million yuan (U.S.$ 12.39 million) in grants. They also subsidized more than 60 million yuan (U.S.$ 8.95 million) to satisfy orphans' needs in living, study, healthcare and other aspects.

In addition, over 5 billion yuan (U.S.$ 746.27 million) was provided to help 507,000 citizens fight poverty and, among them, women accounted for 46.6 percent.

2. Constantly Optimizing Women, Children's Living and Social Environment

Officials in Xi'an have taken measures to boost women and children's environment in multiple aspects.

Specifically, media organizations have promoted specific programs, performances and reading materials to convey knowledge related to culture, technology and civilized and healthy life concepts.

To safeguard children's security and improve their living environment, related departments strengthened related work in and around campus, establishing police offices in 406 primary and middle schools. Meanwhile, authorities reinforced the supervision on the safety of children's food and commodities. 

In addition, Xi'an developed special management on recreation facilities to reduce accidental injuries.

3. Providing Vigorous Legal Protection for Women, Children

Public security organizations in Xi'an have enacted various steps to effectively curb crimes such as human trafficking, rape and prostitution; combat domestic violence; and, protect minors' rights and interests.

Judicial departments also set up so-called "green channels" for women and children and have provided legal assistance to some 11,400 people.

Further Measures and Policies

According to senior officials in the municipal working committee on children and women, further measures and policies will be enacted by multiple departments in next few years to fulfill the goals of women and children's development in various aspects.

On the city's working conference on women and children, related issues have been listed in the Xi'an 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), setting specific directions and targets.

To improve women's employment and entrepreneurship and comprehensively optimize women's economic environment, the government will mainly focus on unemployed women, impoverished female college students and rural women by implementing proactive policies such as training and social insurance subsidies, tax reduction and interest-free loans.

Meanwhile, authorities will provide assistance and technical training for disadvantaged women thereby creating more posts.

By strengthening the public's gender consciousness, related departments will enhance the participatory rate of women in social management and activities.

To protect women's rights and interests at the source, officials will present the notion of gender equality in the process of lawmaking and governmental decision-making.

Specific training sessions and other measures will also be taken to improve women's political engagement.

In terms of medical resource distribution, Xi'an will vigorously facilitate the Healthy China 2030 Plan and the equalization of basic public health services, reinforcing the construction of maternal and child's health service mechanisms and improving healthcare quality.

Related departments will further extend the coverage of free screening for breast and cervical cancers and enhance daily medical services for women.

To enable more women and children to receive equal education, the government plans to enact multiple policies to support the development of preschool and compulsory studies, focusing on enlarging public resources and assisting needy children in rural and urban areas.

Besides, with joint efforts by the whole society and departments, targeted poverty alleviation programs are planned to promote women and children's development.

Later, officials will establish related infrastructure, tighten supervision, curb the transmission of negative information and enhance the legal system to improve public services for women and children.

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

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