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UN Official Praises China's Achievements in Promoting Gender Equality

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The chief of the United Nations (UN) Theme Group on Gender Abhimanyu Singh on Tuesday praised China's efforts and achievements in promoting gender equality.

Addressed a media conference for a UN regional human development report, Singh said China is on track to achieve the specific millennium development goals (MDGs) on gender equality.

The report, titled Power, Voice and Rights -- a Turning Point for Gender Equality in Asia and the Pacific, identified three key areas where policy interventions produce results for gender equality--building economic power, promoting political voice and advancing legal rights. It was released for the first time in New Delhi, India on Monday.

China is ahead of most developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region in most indicators regarding gender equality, the official said.

The eight MDGs, set by world leaders at a UN summit meeting in 2000, also include relieving poverty, popularizing primary education, reducing child mortality and ensuring environmental sustainability, among others.

Citing the report, Singh noted, in China, nearly 70 percent of women are in paid work, well above the global average of 53 percent. This statistic runs parallel to the nation's relatively fast rate of economic growth and industrialization.

UN Resident Coordinator in China Khalid Malik said, gender equality is a powerful investment for equitable development that is socially, economically and politically balanced, and very much in line with China's own version of achieving a well-off society by 2020.

The Chinese leadership has been strongly committed to realizing gender equality, said Malik, adding that gender equality will be one of the primary objectives of China for the years to come.

China hosted the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. After the Conference, it has enacted or revised several major laws and regulations, including the Population and Family Planning Law, Marriage Law, Labor Law and Law on the Protection of Women's Rights and Interests, to improve the legal system to promote gender equality.

The conference was held by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Theme Group on Gender. About 100 guests including the officials from the UN, the All-China Women's Federation, the State Council, experts and scholars in related fields as well as representatives from women's non-governmental organizations attended the conference.

(Xinhua News Agency March 10, 2010)

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