The Program for the Development of Chinese Women (1995-2000)

 RECEIVED MAR 14 1997 Office of Kristen Timothy DAW/DPCSD


     The State Council of the People's Republic of China
promulgated the  Program for the Development of Chinese Women
(1995-2000) in July 27, 1995.  which stipulates the tasks and
major objectives of the development of Chinese  women in the
coming 6 years and puts forward the measures related as well. 
The following is the full text of the Program.


     1. Women are a great force in creating human civilization
and propelling  social development. The development level of
women is an important index of  social development and an
important yardstick to measure social progress as  well. To
promote the progress of Chinese women is the common task of 
governments at all levels, the relevant departments, social
organizations and  people throughout the country. With a view
to further the advancement of  women,; the Program for the
Development of the Chinese Women (1995-2000)  is hereby
formulated (hereinafter referred to as the Program) .

     2. Over the 46 years since the founding of the People's
Republic of China,  great achievement has been made in the
cause of the Chinese women that  attracts world's attention. A
whole series of laws, administrative decrees and  local
regulations, based on the Constitution of the People's Republic
of China  (PRC) and taking the Law of the PRC on the Protection
of the Rights and  Interests of Women as their main body, such
as the Marriage Law, the  Inheritance Law, the Labor Law, the
Law on Maternal and Child Health Care and  the Women Workers
and Employees Labor Protection Regulations aimed at 
guaranteeing the rights and interests and promoting the
development of women  have basically come into being;
corresponding organs and institutions have been established and
perfected; and powerful measures  have been taken as well. In
the 17 years since the inception of the  open-and-reform
policy, the educational level of Chinese women has been 
steadily rising, the number of women employed considerably
shotting up, their  living conditions improving with each
passing day, and their status in the society  and the family
and their participation in the management of national and
social  affairs steadily raising. The broad masses of women
have actively plunged  themselves into the open-and-reform
efforts and the modernization drive and  made tremendous
contributions to economic growth and social progress. All 
these have shown the superiority of the socialist system and
laid a solid  foundation for the further development of Chinese

     However, as China is a developing nation, restricted by
the economic and  social development level and influences of
old ideas, the educational level of  women and their
participation in social development are not high enough; 
equality between men and women legally stipulated has not yet
been fully  implemented; discrimination against women still
exists in the society; the living  condition of women in
poverty-stricken areas needs further improvement. The  task for
the development of Chinese women is still an arduous one.

     The world today is undergoing a historical change and
international  competition is getting increasingly tense. The
world scale competition in  economy, culture, science and
technology is, in the final analysis, a competition  of the
qualities of the nations. The quality of women affects the
quality of a nation  and the development level of women so does
the comprehensive strength of a  nation. At a time when the
21st century is approaching, women's issue has  become one of
the focuses of international attention and to work for
equality,  development and peace with actions has become an
irreversible tide of the  entire international community. The
Chinese government has made solemn  commitment for the
observance of international conventions concerning women's 
rights and development.

     3. Under the guidance of Deng Xiaoping's theory of
building socialism with  Chinese characteristics, the Chinese
Communist Party and the state have  decided on a o^ three-steps
strategy " for the basic realization of modernization  and
explicitly defined that the second-step strategic target shall
be attained by  the end of this century. The coming few years
are an important period of time not  only for China's
open-and-reform and modernization efforts but also for the 
progress and development of Chinese women. In the coming few
years, the task  for the development of women is mobilize and
organize women of all  nationalities in the country to plunge
into the open-and-reform and socialist  modernization efforts,
comprehensively improve the quality of women, safeguard  the
rights and interests of women in accordance with the law and
further  enhance the status of women. On the other hand, the
broad masses of women should display the spirit of
self-respect, self-confidence, self-reliance and 
self-improvement and work to attain their own progress and
development in the  course of promoting social development.
Governments at all levels, the  departments concerned, social
organizations, enterprises and undertakings  should be fully
aware of the importance of promoting women's participation in 
development, work in close coordination and take effective
measures to ensure  the realization of the targets set in the

Major Targets

     4. The general target for the development of Chinese women
by the end  of this century is: quality of women as a whole
shall be markedly improved and  equal rights of women
stipulated by law in political, economic, cultural, social and 
family affairs shall be further realized in the course of
all-round participation in  economic construction and social
development and in management of state and  social affairs. The
specific targets for the development of women are:

     ( 1 ) Enhance the degree of women's participation in
decision-making and  management of state and social affairs.

     To have women in government leading posts at all levels
and a  comparatively big increase of female responsible members
in government  departments.

To select and provide more women leading members in those
trades, departments, enterprises and undertakings where  women
workers constitute a majority.

     (2) Organize women to take an active part in the
open-and-reform and  modernization efforts so as to promote the
development of social productivity.

To increase the number of women in employment and expand the
areas of their  employment in the course of establishing a
socialist market economy, adjusting  the urban and rural
industrial structure, and developing with great effort tertiary 

To guarantee women's equal right with men in employment by
prohibiting the  refusal to employ women on account of sex, or
the raising of standards to  employ women, with the exception
of those jobs and posts unsuitable to women  as stipulated by
the state.

     (3) Guarantee women's right to labor  To implement
conscientiously the Labor law of the PRC and relevant 
regulations on labor protection of women workers, protect
women's safety and  health in work and to improve their working
conditions by all enterprises  (including joint-ventures,
private and township enterprises).

     To carry out equal pay for equal work for both sexes in
the city and  countryside.

     To cover in the main child bearing expenses of women
workers in urban  areas by social collective fund.

     (4) Develop women's education and raise women's scientific
and cultural  level.

     To increase gradually the percentage of females in
receiving education at  all levels and in all categories;
improve qualifications of women workers in an  all-round way,
and actively cultivate professional female technical personnel
of  all kinds.

     To popularize in the main the nine-year compulsory
education throughout  the country; decrease the rates of
school-age girls' drop-outs and of those who  are unable to
attend schools; control both rates below 2%.

     To wipe out illiteracy among 3 million women each year and
strive to  eliminate illiteracy by the end of this century
among young and middle-aged  women all over the country.

     To develop energetically vocational education,
professional and applied  skills training at all levels and in
all categories to raise women's competence in  job hunting.

     ( 5 ) Further improve the health of women and guarantee
their access to  family planning.

     To enhance the service ability and quality of MCH centers.

     To provide all women in the city and country side with
health care,  including good reproductive health care.

     To raise the coverage rate of health care and health
education for  pregnant and Iying-in mothers to 85 %.

     To raise the rate of Practicing new midwifery to 95% in
the countryside.

     To raise the rate of rural women's hospitalization for
child delivery and  decrease maternal mortality by 50% on the
basis of 1990's figure.

     To inoculate 85% of the pregnant and child-bearing age
women against  spasmotoxin in areas with high incidence of
tetanus and eliminate the infection  of tetanus by new-born

     (6) Promote the establishment of civilized, harmonious and
stable families  with equality between husband and wife.

     To carry on the fine traditions of the Chinese nation,
cultivate the socialist  morale, and establish a relationship
of equality, unity, love and mutual assistance  within the
family and between the neighbors.

     To advocate sharing of housework and bringing-up of
children by husband  and wife. To disseminate in various forms
the knowledge and experience among  parents on the proper way
to educate their children.

     To oppose bigamy or taking concubines.

     To stop resolutely acts of interference in others'
matrimonial freedom.

     (7) Ban effectively violence against women, criminal acts
of abducting and  trafficking women, and illegal activities of

     (8) Pay great attention to and help the development of
women in border  and remote areas, poverty-stricken and ethnic
minority areas. Solve in the main  by the end of this century,
the problem of food and clothing of poor women.

     To carry out productive skills training among 10 million
women in  poverty-stricken areas and help them acquire at least
one applied skill.

     To have one female agro-technician or technician in animal
husbandry in  each village in average.

     To alleviate 200,000-households out of poverty and make
them models  for others.

     To develop 20,000 women-headed poverty-alleviating
economic entities  that will provide jobs for 800,000 poor

     ( 9 ) Improve social environment for the development of
women and  improve their quality of life.

     To advocate civil and positive view on women in the whole
society and  cultivate a social morale of respecting and
protecting women; educate women to  display the spirit of
self-respect, self-confidence, self-reliance and 

     To do a good job in community services and develop
nurseries,  kindergartens and household services .

     To protect the special interests of underage girls, old
and disabled  women, and ban the employment of girls under the
age of 16. To run well all  kinds of social welfare institutes
and homes of respect for the aged and seniors'  apartments. To
set up rehabilitation centers for the poor disabled women.

     (10) Expand friendly exchanges between Chinese women and
women of  other countries to promote world peace.

     ( 11 ) Establish a mechanism of trend studies of women's
status, -data  collection and information spreading.

To establish a national women's data bank.

     To set up classified women's statistics index in the state
statistics system.

Policies and Measures

5. Political rights and participation in decision-making 
Enhance the awareness of women on their political rights
through all  means to enable them to participate on an equal
footing with men in the  management of state and social affairs
and in making-decisions on major issues.

     While formulating policies and projects, governments at
all levels should  listen to suggestions and demands of women's
organizations, give full  consideration to the special
interests of women, and guarantee their legitimate  rights and

     Do a good job in training and selecting women cadres. It
is necessary to  work out plans, have them checked regularly
and implemented at all levels.

     Strengthen the training and education of women cadres and
improve their  ability of leadership and in participation in

6. Employment and labor protection Actively exploit areas and
forms of employment suitable to women's  characteristics so as
to provide them more job opportunities develop job hunting and
consultation services to guide those women in  need.

     Actively develop diversified rural economy and further
develop township  enterprises to create more job opportunities
for rural women, and organize in a  planned way the flux of
female labor force from poor-stricken areas to else  where.

     Improve working conditions for women workers in private,
township and  foreign-invested enterprises and strengthen labor
protection measures. Forbid to  assign women workers jobs that
females abstain from doing. Establish and  perfect labor
protection facilities for women workers; establish systems of
regular  physical and gynecological check-up for women workers;
strengthen scientific  research work in making products for
women's labor protection and raise the  level of labor
protection steadily.

     Actively carry out labor supervision, and investigate and
deal with those  acts that infringe upon women's legitimate
right and interest of labor in  accordance with law. Resolutely
curb enterprises from terminating labor  contracts with women
in pregnancy, lying-in and breast-feeding, from forcing  women
workers to engage in super-intensity labor and from violating
the  principle of equal pay for equal work for both sexes, and
guarantee that women  workers work in an environment that is
not harmful to their body, mind and life  safety. Units and
individuals that employ girls under the age of 16 shall be 
punished according to law.

     Integrate labor protection of women workers into the
production-safety  responsibility system of leading members of
an enterprise and take it as one of  the important criteria to
assess their work merits. Strengthen the publicity and 
education work among women workers on laws and regulations of
labor  protection to raise their awareness of self-protection.

     Reform the social security system for childbearing
workers. Steps shall be  taken to cover childbearing insurance
fees with social collective funds instead of  funds from each
enterprise that child-bearing workers belong to. This reform 
shall gradually spread from state-owned enterprises to others.

7. Education and vocational training

     Governments at all levels should implement conscientiously
the Rules for  the Elimination of Illiteracy promulgated by the
State Council. The stress should  be laid on wiping out
illiteracy among young and middle-aged women in remote  and
border areas, poverty-stricken and ethnic minority areas.. The
work should  be done in line with the actual condition of
unbalanced economic and cultural  development in each locality
and guidance should be given according to each  classified

     Governments at all levels should conscientiously implement
the Law on  Compulsory Education of the People's Republic of
China and combine the  popularization of compulsory education
with the development of productive force  and overcoming of old
customs and ideas, so as to create a favorable social 
environment for girls' access to education. Assistance in terms
of policy and  funds shall be rendered to those remote and
border areas, poverty-stricken and  ethnic minority areas.
Multi-forms of schooling such as girls' training classes 
should be used to facilitate the attendance of girls in
poverty-stricken areas.  Governments at all levels should
actively help solve the actual problems of those  girls who are
unable to go to school because of financial difficulties.

     Raise step by step the percentage of females in receiving
technical  secondary education and higher education. In
enrollment of students, the  technical secondary schools and
institutions of higher learning must abide by the  principle of
equality for both sexes, except those specialties the state has 
otherwise defined.

     Make full use of all kinds of existing adult educational
and vocational  schools and, in light of the need for social
development and the characteristics of  women, carry out
multiform vocational education or training at different levels 
among women in the city and the countryside.

8. Health care

     Establish and perfect MCH centers at all levels.
Strengthen the  building-up of obstetrical departments in
township hospitals, improve their  conditions and facilities to
make them capable to handle child-delivery and  emergency
cases. Make efforts to increase the hospitalized child-delivery
rate of  rural pregnant mothers and increase the rate of
practicing new midwifery for rural  women who stay at home for
childbirth. By the year 2000, 85% of the  practitioners of
township MCH centers shall receive training in obstetrical 
emergency aid and skills, and 80% of midwives at village level
in  poverty-stricken areas shall be retrained.

Establish a monitoring network of MCH and a regular reporting
system. Set up  and perfect the reporting system on maternity
mortality, new-born babies'  mortality and babies with
discernible disability.

     Enforce systematic health care for pregnant and Iying-in
mothers. Prevent  the occurrence of common diseases of mothers,
fetus and prenatal babies in  pregnancy, Iying-in and
puerperium. Popularize resuscitation for the new-born  babies
and lower the mortality rate of the early new-born ones.

     Increase the rate of women receiving health education. In
light of the  different physiological and psychological
characteristics of women in their life  cycle: childhood,
adolescence, climacterium, menopause and old age, respective 
health education should be carried out among them, including
scientific  knowledge of sex, self-health care and
child-rearing knowledge, so as to  promote their physical and
mental health and bring into full play the role of  women in
family health care.

     Carry out screening and prevention work of women's
diseases. Emphasis  should be laid on finding out and curing
those diseases seriously endangering  the health of rural

     Inoculate the pregnant and Iying-in mothers and women of
child-bearing  age against spasmotoxin in areas with high
incidence of tetanus among  new-born babies. Popularize
knowledge about children's planned immunization  among women
and further reduce the incidence of relevant diseases and 
mortality rate.

     Add iodine to table salt or ask women to take iodine pills
to ensure  women's physical need. By the year 2000, 95% of
newly married or pregnant  women who need iodine shall have it.
Damage to children's intelligence caused  by the lack of iodine
during the period of their mothers' pregnancy or breast 
feeding should be basically eliminated.

     Improve the ecological environment and decrease the
damages caused  by fluorine to the health of women in areas
where the drinking water has a high  content of fluorine by
treating drinking water, diverting waterways and  transforming
stoves. Strengthen treatment to those patients with dental
fluorosis  and fluorosis of bone.

9. Family planning

     Carry out publicity and education work on population and
family planning  among the people in an extensive, deep-going
and protracted way. Publicize  China's basic state situation
and its basic state policies among women, so as to  guide them
in changing their remnant ideas of marriage and child-bearing
and  fostering new ideas of late marriage and later births,
fewer and healthier births  and no discrimination against baby
girls .

     Popularize among the broad masses of women scientific
knowledge of  contraception, birth control, healthier births
and healthier child-rearing. Actively  promote consultation on
hereditary diseases, MCH and technical check-ups of  the
new-born. By the year 2000, the incidence of disabled babies
with congenital  diseases shall be cut by 50% on the basis of
the 1990 figure.

     Improve family planning techniques. Actively study and
develop new,  safe, effective and convenient contraceptive
pills and tools, and birth control  techniques. Improve and
perfect the existing contraceptive techniques and  methods,
reduce their side-effects and incidence of complications,
promote their  acceptability and protect the reproductive
health of women. By the year 2000,  the incidence of the
complications should be controlled below 10 per 10,000.

     Establish and perfect the grassroots networks of family
planning technical  service and the supply of contraceptive
pills and tools that are convenient to the  masses, provide
child-bearing age couples various kinds of safe, effective and 
convenient contraceptive pills and tools and relative technical
services for their  free choice. Actively give guidance in
contraception and birth control so as to  increase the rate of
their popularization and effectiveness.

10. Legal protection Formulate practical and operational
administrative decrees or  corresponding policies and measures
which are in compliance with the  Constitution of the PRC and
the Law of the PRC on the Protection of Rights and  Interests
of Women to make the latter and their like more feasible.

     Improve the quality and strengthen the contingent of
judicial and law  enforcement administrative personnel, enforce
the leadership and exercise strict  supervision to ensure an
all-round implementation of the laws and decrees in  defense of
women's rights and interests. The acts that are not in strict 
observance of the law or deliberately law-breaking and infringe
upon the rights  and interests of women shall be brought to

     The Marriage Law of the PRC and relevant laws and decrees
shall be  continuously publicized and implemented in a
deep-going and protracted way all  over the country, especially
in rural, remote and poverty-stricken areas.  Strengthen the
management work on marriage registration, and take effective 
measures to curb such illegal marriages as early, mercenary or
consanguineous  ones.

     Protect the personal right of women and their legitimate
property right and  investigate and deal with in time civil
cases that encroach upon the rights and  interests of women.

     Deal severe blows to such criminal acts as abduction,
trafficking,  abandonment, maltreatment, persecution and insult
of women and safeguard  women's personal safety and dignity.
Resolutely ban prostitution and eliminate  social evil

-Seriously investigate and deal with accordingly such criminal
acts as infanticide,  trafficking and persecution of new-born
female babies. Strictly forbid fetus sex  identification with
modern medical equipment for non-medical purposes and deal 
heavy blows to such unlawful acts as` sabotaging family

     Make use of various channels and means to carry out in
extensive and  deep-going way publicity work on legal system to
strengthen the legal awareness  of the whole people; it is
especially necessary to guide and help the broad  masses of
women to foster a solid legal concept and conscientiously apply
to law  to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests.

     Protect the legitimate rights of women to sue and appeal.
Improve the  work to take in and handle the complaints made by
women and guard against  the phenomenon of shifting
responsibility to others and long delay and  indecision.
Develop legal consultation and provide services to help women
solve  their difficulties and help female victims uphold

11. Improve social environment for the development of women. 
Publicize in society at large the prominent role played by
women in  creating human civilization and propelling social
development; propagate that  men and women enjoy equal
personality, dignity, rights and status; and publicize  women
who possess the spirit of self-respect, self-confidence,
self-reliance, and  self-improvement. Curb the practice to
portray the images of women in TV,  movies, books, journals and
the press in an insulting and depreciating way.  Transform the
social attitude of discrimination and prejudice against women
and  promote the understanding of the citizens by and large on
the legitimate rights  and interests of women .

     Protect equal status of women in the family in accordance
with law and  resolutely curb family violence. Strengthen
cultural building-up in the family and  improve the quality of
family members. Continue to carry out the cultural 
construction in the family that integrate moral and ideological
education with  learning science and technology, livening up
family cultural life, and promoting  family economic
developments; advocate a civilized, scientific and healthy way 
of living; and work for a turn for the better of mood of the
family, the people and  the society at large.

     Strengthen the construction of venues for women 's
training and activities.  Actively organize women to learn to
read and write and scientific knowledge and  to take part in
other healthy cultural and sports activities.

     Continue to strengthen community services and develop
nurseries,  kindergartens and housework helping centers to
further lighten the burden of  professional women.

     Carry out consultation activities for women to enhance
their psychological  quality.

     Develop, manufacture and popularize products and tonics
that are  conducive to the physical and mental health of women.

     Render assistance to social welfare undertakings in the
provinces and do  a good job in supporting those orphaned and
disabled girls and widowed or old  women without legally
obligatory supporters, nor ability to work, nor income for 
livelihood in rural and urban areas. Build new, or expand the
existing and remake  various kinds of social welfare
institution, aged people's apartments and homes  for the aged
that take in the above-mentioned women and girls, and equip
them  with necessary living, medical and convalescent
facilities .

     Give major effort to publicize among women the state
policy of  environment protection and the government's support
and encouragement to  women's efforts in running
"ECO-agricultural projects", "March 8th green  projects" and
"Water and soil conservation project" etc.

12. Help develop women's undertakings in poverty-stricken areas
     Arrange applied skills training courses for women to
enhance their  capability to get rid of poverty and become

     Develop poverty-alleviating projects that are suitable to
women's  characteristics.

     Pay special attention to the living condition of disabled
women, and  cultivate in society at large a good morale of
understanding, respecting, caring  and helping toward disabled
people. Arrange properly the livelihood,  convalescence,
education and employment of disabled women.

Organization and Implementation 13. The National Working
Committee for Children and Women of the  State Council is
responsible for the implementation of this Program. The
relevant  departments of the State Council and the social
organizations, in light of their  respective responsibilities,
should formulate specific plans for its implementation.

     14. Implementation of the Program is the unshakable and
important duty  of governments at all levels. The people's
government of each province  (autonomous region and
municipality under the jurisdiction of the central  government)
shall, in light of actual conditions, formulate its own plan
for women  and incorporate it to the local general plan for
economic and social development  and have it arranged and
implemented in a unified and coordinated way. It is  necessary
to establish a target management responsibility system and make
the  implementation of the Program as part of the content to
appraise the  achievement of the main leading members and those
in charge of this work in a  province ( autonomous region,
municipality under the jurisdiction of the central 
government), prefecture (city), county and township.

     15. The governments at all levels shall gradually increase
the funds for  the cause of women. Strengthen and perfect the
building-up of the socialized  service system and support women
in a better way in their economic activities in  terms of
material, information, technique and loans. Encourage people in
all  circles of society to support the cause of women.

Monitoring and appraisal 16. Establish and perfect the organs
of labor, education and legal  supervision, sanitation
monitoring and statistics appraisal, and perfect the  mechanism
of monitoring to ensure the implementation of the Program's
general  targets.

     17. Strengthen the comprehensive statistics on the
development of  women at the national level, establish women's
data bank, add the gender  statistic indexes, do a good job in
collecting, sorting out, feeding-back and  exchanging
information concerning women to provide basis for development 
trend forecast, plan formulation, scientific decision-making,
checks and  appraisals.

     18. Establish a national monitoring system on women's
status and  formulate feasible and scientifically 21 defined
plans so as to monitor women's  development in an all-round and
dynamic way.

     19. In order to understand and assess the implementation
of the Program,  it is necessary to establish a system of
regular examinations and appraisals so  as to discover problems
in time and take corresponding counter measures to  handle
them. In the process of carrying out the Program, it is
imperative to adopt  a variety of investigating methods to
reflect the development and change in  women's status in an
all-round, systematic and timely way, and to carry out 
appraisals on key topics or intermediate evaluations. By the
end of this century,  an all-round terminal appraisal will be
made, the experience in implementing the  Program will be
summarized and evaluated, and a program for the development  of
the women in the 21st century will be formulated.


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Date last updated: 08 May 2000 by DESA/DAW
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