Women play an important role in China's reform and opening-up and social development, therefore it's necessary to integrate the broadening of channels for women to voice their demands related to their interests into the work of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a scholar said recently.
Ye Wenzhen, vice-president of the Chinese Women's Research Society and a professor of Fujian Jiangxia University, recently wrote in an article to highlight the importance of broadening channels to voice women's demands.
Since the Party's 18th National Congress, President Xi Jinping has been giving particular attention to the development of the CPPCC and made a series of important speeches to give full play to its role as a major channel for socialist consultative democracy and a special consultative body.
Ye thinks that the CPPCC should play a role in broadening and establishing channels which are supported by advanced culture and organized with orderly systems to further voice women's demands.
Xi pointed out at the Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, held in 2015, that "Women are creators of material and spiritual wealth, and represent an important force driving social development and progress. Without women, there would be no continuity of the human race or human society."
The contributions made by Chinese women in the past 40 years of reform and opening-up have fully confirmed this assertion.
First, Chinese women have consciously taken on many responsibilities of reform and opening-up, paving the way for the country's contemporary development to a certain extent.
Second, Chinese women play an important role both in society and families. They not only directly participate in economic wealth creation, but also provide a relatively stable social environment for China's contemporary development.
Third, Chinese women's participation in society has subtly changed the thinking and model of China's contemporary development and has improved its efficiency and quality.
Furthermore, Chinese women have driven men's self-improvement and development too.
Therefore, it is extremely significant to broaden channels to express women's rights and interests.
First, unimpeded channels can reveal a positive correlation between reform and opening-up and women's development, and reflect the important principle and theoretical innovation for the Party to lead and promote women's development.
The channels can also summarize women's special contributions and advanced experiences in driving social development so as to guide the harmonious development of men and women and help them make common progress.
Second, women are still the disadvantaged group of society due to the backward gender culture and system. The contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and women's ever-growing needs for a better life is increasingly prominent.
Some major issues include sex selection during the reproductive process; the higher dropout rate of rural girls; the infringement of so-called migrant and left-behind women's survival and development rights; discrimination against female college graduates in employment; and other unfair treatment of women in society.
In order to effectively solve these problems and safeguard women's interests, urgent action is needed to open channels for women to voice their demands.
As one form of democracy, the CPPCC should take on its political responsibility to broaden the channels as well as improve its work efficiency and quality of service.
Over the years, the CPPCC at all levels has been committed to smoothing and broadening the channels to express women's interests and have achieved some results.
First, the ratio of female members in the CPPCC has evidently increased. The larger the proportion of women members, the more conducive to the broadening of the channels for the expression of women's interests.
There are 399 women in the 12th CPPCC National Committee, accounting for 17.8 percent of all members and 0.1 percent higher than the previous committee. A total of 38 women are members of the standing committee, making up 11.8 percent of the total and 1.3 percentage points higher than the previous one.
For the 13th CPPCC national committee, there were 440 female members that accounted for 20.4 percent of the total and 41 more than last time.
Second, there is an increase in the percentage of female CPPCC members from women's federations. These members, who have rich work experiences in tackling women's affairs, played an important role in providing open channels for women to voice their demands.
In the 13th CPPCC National Committee, a total of 67 women members came from women's federations at all levels and make up 15.2 percent of all women members.
Third, the women's federation system has made full use of the strengths of female standing committee members who come from women's federations to transfer the achievements of the system's investigation involving women's interests and development into the CPPCC proposals, in order to broaden the expression channels indirectly.
However, there are some shortcomings for the CPPCC in smoothing and broadening the channels.
On the one hand, gender consciousness should be strengthened. Some CPPCC members haven't yet regarded the basic state policy of gender equality and advanced gender culture as part of their cultural awareness.
It is the CPPCC's responsibility to integrate President Xi's important thoughts put forward at the global meeting into its ideological system and to recognize the gender significance and cultural value of its effort to smooth the channels.
On the other hand, the CPPCC hasn't yet given play to its full potential to put forward enough issues and proposals concerning women's interests, and, the effects of the CPPCC in solving women's problems need to be further enhanced.
There are plenty of opportunities for the CPPCC to establish a channel with the support of advanced culture and orderly systems to further protect women's interests.
First, the CPPCC officials should understand President Xi's important thoughts on the women's movement and realize the historical value, significance and responsibility to smooth channels for expression of women's interests so as to turn the cognition into the focus of their work in the future.
Second, women's interests haven't been equally treated and properly presented at present.
By realizing this, the CPPCC should spread knowledge of basic State policy of gender equality and advanced gender culture to its members, especially male members, to urge them to actively implement President Xi's thoughts in each step of consultation and discussion of State affairs.
Third, an orderly multi-tiered system to express women's, especially grassroots women's, interests has been established by women's federations and rich experience to manage the system have been accumulated.
Therefore, the CPPCC officials can make full use of this existing system of women’s federations to build a mechanism to broaden and improve the channels to voice women's demands.
Furthermore, the CPPCC officials should cooperate with international organizations and congresses to use their experiences to tell Chinese stories; share the successful work models of the CPPCC to the world; and, encourage more people to pay attention to protect women's interests so as to further achieve gender equality and harmonious development in the world.
(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)