Wen urges protecting rights of women, children

Updated: 2011-11-27 22:18


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BEIJING - "The social status of the female population indicates the level of social progress (of a nation), while children are the future and hope of a nationality and a nation," Premier Wen Jiabao said on Sunday.

While addressing the fifth National Working Conference on Women and Children, the premier highlighted the importance of women's and children's wellbeing, noting they bear on "the future of the nation and the nationality."

China's women and children, who make up two-thirds of the country's 1.3 billion strong population, are an "important force for promoting national development and social progress," said Wen, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

The Party and the government have always attached great importance to women's and children's issues, the premier said, noting that China has issued specific laws to protect women's and children's rights, while specific organizations have been set up to carry out government plans regarding the development of women's and children's rights.

The government will implement two plans for the development of women and children over the next 10 years, Wen said.

He pledged to oppose gender discrimination of any kind and to work hard to ensure that women will have equal footing when participating in economic, political, cultural and social development.

The premier urged banning illegal fetus gender identification and illegal abortion.

He also called for improving nutrition for children and enhancing pre-school education.

"Parents and teachers should give more free space for their kids to grow up," he stressed.

Wen pledged to provide greater care for orphans, ill and handicapped children.

Wen also touched on a recent schoolbus accident in northwest China's Gansu province. Wen said that relevant government departments are working to create safety regulations and standards for the country's schoolbuses, adding that the central and local governments will bear the cost of bringing the buses up to standard.

Wen added that the government will continue to crack down on human trafficking and other crimes that target women and children.

The conference was presided over by State Councilor Liu Yandong, who is also a Politburo member and director of the State Council Work Committee on Women's and Children's Affairs. She delivered a work report reviewing the country's achievements in women's and children's development over the past decade.

Present at the conference was Chen Zhili, vice chairwoman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and chairwoman of the All-China Women's Federation.

Wen and other senior officials met with the conference's delegates and issued certificates of honor to advanced institutions and individuals for their contributions in the field of women's and children's development.