The Silk Road on Fingertips — Silk Road Women's Forum was held in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, on May 11, 2021.
The All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) and the People's Government of Shaanxi Province, in Northwest China, co-hosted the Silk Road on Fingertips — Silk Road Women's Forum, in Xi'an (capital of Shaanxi) on May 11, 2021. The Women's Forum was an important event during the Fifth Silk Road International Exposition (SRIE) held in Xi'an from May 11-15. It was also one of the activities that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations (UN).
Xia Jie, Vice-President and Member of the Secretariat of the ACWF, and Zhuang Changxing, Member of the Standing Committee and Secretary of the Politics and Law Committee of Shaanxi Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), attended the Silk Road Women's Forum and delivered speeches.
Xia Jie, Vice-President and Member of the Secretariat of the ACWF, delivers a speech at the forum.
More than 200 guests attended, including the ambassadors of Zambia, Cabo Verde, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, ambassadors' spouses, women diplomats from 20-plus countries and officials from UN agencies in China. They participated in discussions with the theme of "Harnessing Women's Power for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)."
Writing a New Chapter
During her speech, Xia said holding such a forum was significant to advance the sharing of good practices among women from BRI countries and regions, and for women to discuss various development measures shared by BRI countries and regions. In recent years, the ACWF has launched — via diverse forms and channels — exchanges and cooperation initiatives between China and more than 100 countries, Xia noted. China held the forum to enhance people-to-people connectivity among women, deepen communications and cooperation, implement multilateralism, and make new contributions to the promotion of high-quality construction of the Belt and Road, the building of a community with a shared future for mankind and global equality between men and women, Xia added.
Zhuang Changxing, Member of the Standing Committee and Secretary of the Politics and Law Committee of Shaanxi Provincial CPC Committee speaks at the forum.
On behalf of the Shaanxi Provincial CPC Committee and the People's Government of Shaanxi, Zhuang welcomed guests to the forum. He said he hoped more women from countries and regions along the Belt and Road route will become participants, advocates and beneficiaries of the construction of BRI and they will help advance the high-quality development of this initiative.
Gong Xiaoyan, Secretary of the Leading Party Members' Group and President of Shaanxi Women's Federation, presided over the forum's opening ceremony. She said Shaanxi Women's Federation will take the opportunity of the forum to focus on the enhancement of women and children's connectivity and friendly people-to-people exchanges and cooperation on issues related to people's livelihood. The women's federation of Shaanxi will work hard to write a new chapter, share good practices, and advance integration and win-win cooperation among women from BRI countries and regions.
The Fifth Silk Road Women Innovative Design Competition was launched during the forum.
The Fifth Silk Road Women Innovative Design Competition was launched during the forum. Excellent designers from various countries or regions, with different cultural backgrounds, learned from each other during the competition and related communications.
From 2017 to 2020, Shaanxi Women's Federation hosted four competitions of the series and those events attracted combined more than 3,000 designers from China's 26 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao, China's Taiwan, and eight countries from Europe and Asia.
A cooperation letter of intent to enhance women's communications along the Belt and Road route is signed at the forum.
Building the Belt and Road will help countries and regions along the route integrate economically and share the benefits of BRI.
During the Silk Road Women's Forum, Gong and Chen Tiehan, Member of the Leading Party Members' Group and Vice-President of Fujian Women's Federation, signed a cooperation letter of intent to enhance women's communications along the Belt and Road route. The women's federations will seek innovative development and cooperation by improving communications on various issues, including women's entrepreneurship and employment and family and children's affairs.
Gong and Min Moosuk, President of Jeju Women and Family Research Institute, from the Republic of Korea (ROK), signed an exchange and cooperation letter of intent, focusing on the development of women and children's undertakings and the cultivation of talents in China and ROK. Both sides said they hoped to advance women's practical cooperation in various fields, including economy, culture and education, and to push forward women's communications and cooperation.
Signing the letters of intent helped build a friendly bridge, which will deepen mutual understanding and trust; and the signings wrote a new chapter in the development of BRI countries and regions and enhanced women's friendly exchanges.
Women talents from BRI countries and regions participate in discussion
As part of the Women's Forum, women talents who work in the fields of politics, economy and culture from BRI countries and regions participated in discussions that focused on three topics: Women and poverty alleviation, women and Silk Road cooperation, and women and family affairs. They shared good practices and achievements in women's participation in economic and social development. They also talked about communications and cooperation among different countries and about new opportunities in and challenges affecting women's development in BRI countries and regions.
China has the largest population of women in the world. During the grand battle against poverty, Chinese women have showcased the power of "holding up half the sky." During the discussion on "women and poverty alleviation," Li Caiyun, Associate-Secretary-General of China Women's Development Foundation (CWDF), Tania Romualdo, Ambassador of Cape Verde to China, Wang Lixia, Secretary of the Leading Party Members' Group and Vice-President of Xinjiang Women's Federation, Li Hai-Ying, a researcher with Jeju Women and Family Research Institute, and Bian Shengjie, President of Jiangsu Women Ecommerce Union, shared their thoughts on women and poverty alleviation, women's health care and women's business start-ups.
The Silk Road on Fingertips included several activities to enhance women's communications among countries along the Silk Road. During the session featuring "women and Silk Road cooperation," Wen Lin, Member of the Leading Party Members' Group and Vice-President of Shaanxi Women's Federation, Maria Gustava, Ambassador of Mozambique to China, Yang Xueyan, a professor with the Institute for Population and Development Studies under Xi'an Jiaotong University, Christine Bernabeu, President of the French Association H.E.R.A. Transcontinentale, and Fan Daidi, President of the Institute of Biomedical Research under Northwest University, said they hoped to see women play their roles in promoting peaceful development and win-win cooperation among countries along the Silk Road.
Maintaining family mottoes and virtues are good traditions that have been passed from generation to generation in China. During the discussion on "women and family affairs," Ji Min, Director of the Women's Research Center under Sichuan Normal University, Isabel Domingos, Ambassador of Sao Tome and Principe to China, Li Ruiheng, Vice-President of the Women's General Association of Macao, Wang Yue, Deputy-Secretary-General of Hebei Family Education Institute, and Chen Ruoxing, President of Xi'an Women's Culture Research Association and a National Moral Model, talked about women and families' character traits in the new era, government-initiated measures for improving family education, the good practices of women's federations in advancing women, children and family's development, and the promotion of Chinese culture and good traditions.
In addition to attending the Silk Road Women's Forum, a delegation composed of women diplomats in China visited historical revolutionary sites in Yan'an, in Shaanxi, and women's development project sites at the grassroots level in the province. The delegation's visit symbolized the launch of "China in the Eyes of Women Diplomats," an activity to be organized by the ACWF throughout this year.
Following the conclusion of the forum, the activity of "China in the Eyes of Women Diplomats" is launched.
(Source: Liaison Department of the All-China Women's Federation and Shaanxi Women's Federation)
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