Multiple targets have already been met ahead of schedule in terms of women's employment and health as set out in official publications, according to a recent report issued by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The results indicate that targets set out in the National Program for Child Development in China (2011-2020) and the National Program for Women's Development in China (2011-2020) have been achieved ahead of schedule.
Among them, the proportion of female workers in employment nationwide was 43.5 percent at the end of 2017, exceeding the 2020 target of 40 percent as stated in the two programs.
The results show the employment situation of women has improved significantly in recent years, and the number of female professionals and technical personnel continues to increase.
There were 15.297 million female professionals and technical personnel in state-owned enterprises and institutions in 2017, seeing an increase of 2.6 million over 2010, accounting for 48.6 percent of the total.
Among them, 1.79 million were senior professionals and technical personnel, accounting for 39.3 percent.
The number of impoverished women in rural areas has decreased significantly. Last year, there were 30.46 million rural poverty-stricken people across the country, nearly 140 million fewer than in 2010, and about half of those who escaped poverty were women.
The level of women's social security has increased. Last year, nearly 390 million women across the country enjoyed basic endowment insurance coverage, 38 million over the previous year.
The proportion of women receiving higher education levels continues to rise. Compared with 2010, the number of female graduates in 2017 was 1.278 million, accounting for 48.4 percent of all graduates, an increase of 0.6 percentage points.
The higher education gross enrollment rate for men and women was 45.7 percent in 2017, up 19.2 percentage points from 2010; the number of undergraduate female students was 14.47 million, accounting for 52.5 percent, an increase of 4.7 percentage points.
Gender Gap Basically Eliminated in Compulsory Education Period
According to statistics on child development, preschool education has been prioritized.
Last year, there were 255,000 kindergartens in the country including 18,300 urban public kindergartens and 76,300 rural public kindergartens, which increased by 69.5 percent, 91.6 percent and 97.7 percent respectively, compared with 2010.
Last year, the gross enrollment rate at kindergartens was 79.6 percent, an increase of 23 percentage points over 2010, exceeding the national program target by 9.6 percentage points.
Among them, the enrollment rate of girls increased rapidly, from 56.6 percent in 2010 to 79.6 percent in 2017, with an average annual increase of 3.3 percentage points, reaching the target in advance.
The popularity of compulsory education continues to increase. Last year, the coverage rate of nine-year compulsory education and the gross enrollment rate in junior high schools both have reached almost 100 percent, and the net enrollment rate of primary school-age children has reached 99.9 percent.
At present, the gender gap has been almost eliminated in compulsory education. Last year, the net enrollment rate of primary school-age girls was 99.9 percent, basically equal to that of boys.
The number of childcare agencies has increased. Last year, there were 663 child adoption and rescue service agencies nationwide, including 469 child welfare agencies and 194 minor protection centers, which increased by 134 and 49 respectively compared with 2010.
The health status of women and children has generally improved in recent years.
Last year, the mortality rate for children under 5 was 9.1 per 1,000, and the rate of malnourishment for children under 5 was 1.4 percent. These indicators have achieved the goals of the national program in advance.
As for women's health, the maternal mortality rate continues to decline, from 30 in 100,000 in 2010 to 19.6 in 100,000 in 2017.
Last year, among national financial education funds, the proportion of preschool education funds increased by 0.4 percentage points over the previous year, as the investment in preschool education increased.
(Source: People's Daily Overseas Edition/Translated and edited by Women of China)