Governments should cooperate with business communities to overcome the difficulties that hurt "the employment, education and welfare of women and their all-round development in the long-term", Chinese vice minister of commerce said on Thursday before the opening of the Global Summit of Women.
Speaking at a pre-summit ministerial roundtable, Ma Xiuhong, head of the Chinese delegation to the summit that is convened from June 5-7, said the Chinese government has identified equality and justice, including gender equality, as an important component of the socialist harmonious society.
Economic, legal, administrative measures have been taken by the Chinese government to ensure that women enjoy equal rights with men in such areas as politics, economy, culture, social affairs and family life, she said.
As many as 350 million women in urban and rural areas have a job, accounting for 45 percent of the total employed population. In urban area, more than 40 million women are employed, taking up 38 percent of the total urban employment, according to commerce ministry statistics.
At present, businesswomen take up over 20 percent of the total entrepreneurs in China. Among the professionals in the state-owned enterprises and organizations, women account for more than 40 percent. In rural area, women make up over 60 percent of the rural labor force.
However, challenges still exist. She pointed to the fact that the emerging trade and investment protectionism and worldwide fluctuation in food and other materials and high oil price are threatening the stable development of the world economy.
Therefore, "we will strengthen cooperation and exchanges with international business circle, as well as international organizations such as the UN and governments of other countries so as to make positive contribution to the equality, development and peace of the world," she said.
China sends one of the biggest delegations to the summit that seeks practical solutions and strategies to enhance women's role and covers issues like women's health and economic opportunities.
(Xinhua News Agency June 6, 2008)