China draws up blueprints for women, children

China’s State Council has drawn up two 10-year blueprints, formulating a total of 109 development strategies geared toward Chinese women and children.

The “Outline for the Development of Chinese Women (2011-2020)” involves seven aspects of health, education, economy, decision-making and management, society security, environment, and law. The outline involves five aspects: health, education, welfare, social environment and legal protection.

Children’s health subject of most widespread concern

As many as 14 targets are set for children’s health, which show this to be the biggest concern. The main targets of the outline are: a decline in the rate of birth defects and congenital disability; mortality rates of infants and children under the age of 5 must strictly be kept at under 10 percent and 13 percent, respectively; vaccination programming should cover at least 95 percent of townships. It also requires a higher rate of universal education on sexual and reproductive health knowledge and low rates of children’s psychological behavior problems and mental illness.

Thirteen specified measures have been put forward to achieve the aforementioned goals, including increasing funding in the maternal and child health care and better disease prevention and cures.

Women and children’s welfare and social security highly valued

Both outlines have stressed the importance of developing women and children’s welfare and social security. 

The “Outline for the Development of Chinese Children (2011-2020)” requires basic medical and health services for children and basic education, medical and employment needs for orphans. It also calls for higher rates in the recovery of disabled children, the adoption of orphans and the coverage of child welfare. 

According to the outline, the women’s social security system needs further improvements, with maternity insurance covered in all employers and medical service enhanced

Reservations provided for women in councils 

The outline says that the government will continue to boost women’s participation in decision-making and management of state and social affairs and will gradually increase seats for women officials in the leadership of China’s central, provincial and city bodies.

At least one seat should be guaranteed for women officials for all county-level governments and above, according to the outline.

A 30-percent reservation for women in village committees is promised, and at least 10 percent of heads of villagers’ committee should be females, according to the document.

It also vowed to eliminate gender discrimination in employment, Xinhua reported.

Women should account for at least 40 percent of the employees and departments at various levels should create conditions of education and training programs for women to ensure that women account for 35 percent of senior professional and technical personnel over the next 10 years, according to the document. 

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