Opening Remarks by Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Dr. Liu Xianfa at the Ministerial Meeting of the Four Countries that Have Hosted World Conferences on Women

(Nairobi, August 12, 2015)


Your Honorable Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru,

Distinguished delegates,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning!

First of all, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, I would like to express our sincere thanks to the Kenyan Ministry of Devolution and Planning for hosting the Ministerial Meeting of the Four Countries, for the thoughtful arrangements, as well as the kind invitation and warm hospitality.

It is a great honor and privilege for our countries to have had the opportunity to host the World Conferences on Women that have made historical contributions to the advancement of women worldwide.

This year will witness the adoption of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, and it is an important year for the advancement of women worldwide (the 30th anniversary of the Third World Conference on Women in Nairobi, and the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing), a good opportunity for all countries around the world to look back into history, summarize successful experiences of women’s development, and look forward to the future in connection with the international development agenda. At this historical point, it is highly necessary and important to strengthen communications and explore cooperation among countries for greater progress of global women’s causes.

Guided by the spirit of equality, development and peace, embedded in the world women’s conferences, considerable progress has been made in women’s advancement globally. In education, the overall objective has been achieved in eliminating gender gap in primary, secondary and higher education. There have been substantial investments by many countries to improve women's health. Global maternal mortality rate has dropped by 45 percent. There have also been breakthroughs in women’s participation in decision-making. There are now nine female Heads of State, and 15 female Heads of Government in the world. More and more women enter the political arena, making significant contributions to world peace and development, and to prosperity of their own countries.

It should also be noted that many difficulties and obstacles still remain. For instance, progress is slow and uneven in reducing poverty and promoting decent employment for women. Developing countries still face the problems of lack of funds and technology and weak infrastructure. Armed conflicts and terrorism left many women and children displaced and physically or mentally harmed. It remains an arduous task to fully achieve the objectives of the World Conferences on Women. The problems and challenges call for more rigorous efforts.

To make our sustainable efforts, UN Women and China will co-organize and co-host a “Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Commitment to Action”, to be held in September this year during the UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York. Heads of States or Governments are invited to make commitments to further accelerate the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and goals on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Chinese President H.E Mr. Xi Jinping and UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon will attend the Meeting. It is our sincere hope that the heads of states or governments of Mexico, Denmark and Kenya will attend and play their indispensable roles. With strong supports and active participation of all countries, the meeting, it is believed, will further energize and open a new chapter in global women’s advancement.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to take this opportunity to briefly introduce China’s major actions and achievements in women’s advancement.

China is committed to the full implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Outcome Document of the 23rd Special Session of the UN General Assembly. We have been continuously implementing the national policy of gender equality and strengthening the national mechanisms for the advancement of women. Laws and policies for women’s rights have been improved, and women’s development has been incorporated into China’s national economic and social development plans. Three rounds of National Program for the Development of Chinese Women have been implemented. The coordination and synchronization of women’s causes with macro economic and social development have been emphasized. Investment has been enhanced by the government, and various effective measures for women’s empowerment have been taken. For instance, a micro-credit loan scheme for women’s entrepreneurship and employment was started in 2009, with the interest of the loans paid by the government. In the past five years, 222 billion RMB of loans were issued to women, the interest paid by the government totaled 19 billion yuan, 10 million women were helped in their entrepreneurship and employment. Efforts were also made to create a favorable environment for women’s advancement, to ensure women’s equal participation in economic and social development, and equal enjoyment of the fruits of reform and development.

Under the joint efforts of the government and all sectors of society, remarkable achievements have been made: women are working in a wider range of job market, their employment patterns improved. Women are better educated and gender gap at every level of education is being gradually eliminated. Substantial progress is made in women’s health, female life expectancy is now 77.37 years, and the maternal mortality rate has fallen to 21.7 per 100,000 live births. Women’s participation in decision-making and management has also increased, with the number of female representatives to the National People’s Congress (NPC) standing at 23.4%, a 2.1% growth over the previous session, and the proportion of female heads of urban neighborhood committees accounting for almost 50% of the total. Cross-department cooperation against any violation of women’s rights is further strengthened. Substantial progress has been made in legislation on domestic violence. At the same time, we are quite clear that as a developing country with a huge population and uneven development between the urban and rural areas and among different regions, China still faces many difficulties and challenges in achieving full gender equality and women’s development.

China will continue its efforts to promote gender equality and harmonious development in the process of building a moderately prosperous society, deepening reform and opening up in an all-round way, and in its efforts to achieve Chinese dream of national rejuvenation, strong and prosperous country, and happiness of the people.

The advancement of women’s cause is a global task. We look forward to strengthening communications with Kenya, Denmark, Mexico and all other countries, drawing on good experiences, and working together for the advancement of women worldwide, for the realization of the commitments of the World Conferences on Women and gender goals in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, to ensure that every woman and every girl lives her life in equality, development and peace.

Thank you all.

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