Premier Li Keqiang calls for an end to gender discrimination in employment

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Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang gave a speech last Friday at the sixth National Conference on Women and Children, during which he affirmed that working for women and children is a matter of overall importance and an important cause for the future. He also said that the whole of society should contribute to create an atmosphere in which women and children are respected.

The Chinese premier stressed the need to eliminate gender discrimination in employment, promote equal employment and equal pay, and strengthen the special labor protection that female workers enjoy. Promoting the development of women means not only achieving social justice and fairness, but also giving full play to a powerful force for economic development.

The premier also demanded that the relevant policies be implemented and that village rules that contradict national laws and regulations be rescinded, so as to allow qualified women to see their own names on business licenses, and let women have an equal right to men to contract and manage land, make use of property, and receive a share of the collective income.

During the conference the premier claimed that safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of women and children is a symbol of social and moral civility, a manifestation of respect for the protection of human rights, and a reflection upon the level of the rule of law. It is thus necessary to crackdown on schoolyard bullying, violence, abuse, rape, trafficking and other crimes against women and children’s rights by intensifying law enforcement and policy implementation.

Concerning the issues faced by children, the prime minister stated that the problems which the public has shown a strong reaction to will be addressed, and the most prominent issues will be solved. An effort should be made to ensure that every child can enjoy the basic necessities of life in complete security. Steps will also be take to promote equality in education: public educational investment into the western regions, minority groups and poverty-stricken areas will be increased, and the scale of key universities’ enrolment in poor areas will continue to be expanded.