The All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) and the People's Government of Hunan Province jointly held the China-Africa Women's Forum in Changsha, capital of Central China's Hunan Province, on June 29. The forum's theme was "Pooling the Strength of Chinese and African Women and Jointly Promoting the Comprehensive Development." Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Special Envoy of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the Advancement of Girls' and Women's Education, made remarks to the forum via video link. Shen Yueyue, Vice-Chairperson of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and President of the ACWF, attended the forum and delivered the keynote speech. Huang Xiaowei, Vice-President and First Member of the Secretariat of the ACWF, and Vice-Chairperson of the National Working Committee on Children and Women under the State Council, presided over the forum.
China and Africa are a community with a shared future, standing together through thick and thin, Peng said, adding women are important members of the big China-Africa family.
Over the years, under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, women from China and Africa have written a splendid chapter of shared progress through solidarity and cooperation, Peng said.
In different places across Africa, women from China are working with African sisters in medical teams, on peacekeeping missions, at infrastructure construction sites and in technical training programs. They work side by side to make a better life and contribute to a stronger China-Africa friendship, she added.
Peng said she has maintained friendly exchanges and cooperation with the Organization of African First Ladies for Development to offer love and hope.
Both China and Africa place high importance on advancing women's causes, she said.
China has taken a range of measures to strengthen the legal system protecting women's rights and interests, empower women with better education, support women's entrepreneurship and innovation, and deliver healthcare services to women and children, to foster a favorable environment for women's full development.
In Africa, countries are working hard to improve women's working and living conditions, help them get rid of poverty, and encourage women's participation in the management of the country and society, Peng said, adding these worthy efforts have produced positive results.
China and Africa will continue to march ahead together, with love and action, on the journey of advancing the development of women, she said.
Given the many challenges facing women's development, the need for solidarity and cooperation is greater than ever, Peng said.
"I am ready to work with you to carry forward the spirit of the Beijing World Conference on Women and the Global Leaders' Meeting on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment, pull strengths from all sides to promote women's full development, and contribute to the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era," she added.
Shen noted President Xi announced during his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), held in November 2021, that China would hold a China-Africa women's forum, fully demonstrating the great importance Xi attaches to and his cordial care given to women's development, exchanges and cooperation between China and Africa. Holding China-Africa Women's Forum, Shen noted, was an action to implement Xi's important instruction on enhancement of China-Africa friendly cooperation. The forum will contribute women's strength to the all-round development of women in China and Africa and to the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.
In her remarks via video link, Peng called for pooling strengths from all sides to help every woman and every child embrace a happy life. Peng also inspired women in China and Africa to make joint efforts to create a promising future, Shen said.
Shen outlined the historic progress reached in women's cause in China under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and particularly the progress reached since the 18th CPC National Congress was held in 2012. President Xi raised proposals — the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative — and also proposed and promoted the building of Belt and Road, has led the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, bringing greater opportunities for development in Africa, Shen noted.
Shen called on women in China and Africa to adhere to China-Africa friendly cooperation, follow a people-centered approach, advance women's common development, insist on supporting and helping each other, promote China-Africa people-to-people exchanges, adhere to progress in civilization development, shared and enhanced by all, and work hand-in-hand to create a more beautiful world for women and for all.
Other distinguished speakers included: Angeline Ndayishimiye, First Lady of the Republic of Burundi; Monica Chakwera, First Lady of the Republic of Malawi; Mariam Mwinyi, First Lady of Zanzibar, the United Republic of Tanzania; Joana Tomás, General Secretary of the Organization of Angolan Women, the Republic of Angola; Wanledom Robertine, Minister of Industrialization and Commerce, the Republic of Chad; Ergoge Tesfaye, Minister of Women and Social Affairs, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; Gertrude Mulumemui Imenda, Deputy Secretary General of the United Party for National Development, the Republic of Zambia; and, Marie Louis, Board Member of the National Council for Women of Egypt, the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Diplomats from several countries and representatives of relevant international organizations gave speeches focusing on the topics of "women's education and poverty reduction" and "women and post-epidemic economic recovery." Participants spoke of the traditional friendship between China and Africa. They agreed women represent an important force in the advancement of China-Africa common development, and expressed their willingness to deepen people-to-people exchanges and practical cooperation and to make contributions to enhancing women's all-round development and promoting the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.
Shen Xiaoming, Secretary of the CPC Hunan Provincial Committee, and Xue Bing, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Affairs, under China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also delivered speeches. Lin Yi, Vice-President and Member of the Secretariat of the ACWF, read the Outcome Document adopted at the China-Africa Women's Forum.
During the forum, Shen met the first ladies of African countries, relevant ministers, and leaders of women's organizations and political parties, as well as diplomats to China who attended the event.
More than 200 participants, including representatives from 30-plus countries and international institutions, government departments, women from all walks of life, and international students in China, attended. The participants also visited the Exhibition on China-Africa Women's Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
(Source: Liaison Department of the All-China Women's Federation)
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