Chinese President Xi Jinping has advocated the building of a community of shared future for mankind and to achieve the goal of shared and win-win development. Gender equality and women's development, an issue that is fundamental to the growth and stability of the economy, culture, ecology and society, also makes difference to the building of a community of shared future for mankind.
Though the progress towards global gender equality has accelerated in recent years, gender gaps still need to be further narrowed in all areas. The goals in building a community of shared future for mankind can only be achieved when gender equality and women's development is put on the agenda.
To realize China's proposition, the gender equality issue should be considered at all levels: by women themselves, by gender mainstreaming in the development of nations and international communities, and through China's role in global women's development.
First, women are both the shapers and beneficiaries of a community of shared future for mankind. On one hand, women shape the world from many aspects, such as maintaining world peace, promoting economic development, eliminating gender disparity and discrimination, advocating environmental protection and sustainable development, and leading social movements and campaigns.
Xi said in a keynote speech at the Global Leaders' Meeting on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment, "Without women's liberation and progress, the liberation and progress of mankind would not be attainable."
On the other hand, women's contribution is still underestimated and has not been recognized in many scopes. Women benefit from the development and achievement of the world, yet the world is still unstable as conflicts exist in many areas and gender gaps are large.
Furthermore, according to the latest report of UN Women, women still face all forms of discrimination and violence. Gender disparity is a profound obstacle to the building of a community of shared future for mankind.
Second, gender mainstreaming is a major strategy for promoting a community of shared future for mankind. The concept of gender mainstreaming was first proposed at the 1985 Third World Conference on Women in Nairobi, Kenya. The idea was formally featured in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women and became a globally accepted strategy of closing the gender gap.
The UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development specifically set up a goal for gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
In China, gender equality has always been a major issue and been protected by law. President Xi emphasized at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) that it was necessary to adhere to the basic state policy of gender equality and protect the legitimate rights and interests of women.
Third, China is playing a more significant role and making greater contribution in terms of global women's development. China has put forward its own plan for closing the gender gap and promoting equality.
President Xi introduced several propositions for women's advancement at the Global Leaders' Meeting on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment, winning praise and support from countries around the world.
Those propositions aim to provide a new perspective in gender equality and women empowerment including economy, legislation, political empowerment, medical care, education, social inclusion, international community and global security.
China has also played an active role in making and reviewing international strategies and guidelines, and has faithfully fulfilled its duties, including promoting communication and cooperation with international communities, launching projects in sectors of health, education, poverty reduction and disaster relief, and providing assistance to women in need in other developing countries.
Gender equality is not only a matter of women, but also a matter for the whole of human society. It is a decisive factor whether a community of shared future for mankind can be fully realized.
The article is based on the research results of Du Jie, Deputy Director of the Chinese Women's Research Society.
(Source: Cnwomen.com/Translated and edited by Women of China)