China's Communist Youth League head said here on Tuesday that women's federation was a bridge between women and the government and an important social backbone of the state power.
"Over the past five years, different levels of women's federations have conducted various and effective activities to contribute to social harmony," said Lu Hao, the newly-elected first-secretary of the secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China.
Lu made a congratulatory speech on behalf the country's major social organizations such as the All-China Federation of Trade Unions and the China Writers' Association, at the opening of the Tenth National Women's Congress.
He said women's federations had effectively protected women's and children's rights and interests and helped them solve difficulties and did a lot of things benefiting the women and children.
"This is an important meeting for the women's cause in China to open a new future at a new historic starting point," Lu said of the congress which was to be held from October 28 to 31 and was expected to draw a blueprint for the development of Chinese women in the coming five years.
He added that Chinese women had played a significant role in combating natural disasters and preparing for the Olympic and Paralympic Games this year as "women were great forces pushing forward social and economic development and the civilization of the mankind".
The five-day congress will hear and discuss a work report by the Ninth Executive Committee of the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), deliberate and adopt amendments to the federation's constitution, and elect the 10th ACWF Executive Committee.
ACWF Chairwoman Gu Xiulian said 1,407 delegates from across the country were present at the once-every-five-year congress. Among the 1,280 elected delegates, 1,020 of them are newly elected. Eachof China's 55 ethnic minorities has at least one delegate to the congress.
(Xinhua News Agency October 28, 2008)