Female deputies give women's perspective at two sessions

2016-03-07 02:12:43 GMT2016-03-07 10:12:43(Beijing Time)  Global Times
Female delegates stand in front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing before the opening session of China's National People's Congress, March 4. Photo: ICFemale delegates stand in front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing before the opening session of China's National People's Congress, March 4. Photo: IC
NPC spokeswoman Fu Ying reacts to journalists during a news conference on Friday. Photo: ICNPC spokeswoman Fu Ying reacts to journalists during a news conference on Friday. Photo: IC
Hostesses who serve the two sessions pose for photographs outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday. Photo: ICHostesses who serve the two sessions pose for photographs outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday. Photo: IC
Journalists raise their hands to ask questions during a press conference in Beijing on March 2. Photo: ICJournalists raise their hands to ask questions during a press conference in Beijing on March 2. Photo: IC
An NPC deputy steps into the Great Hall of the People for the opening session of the NPC. Photo: ICAn NPC deputy steps into the Great Hall of the People for the opening session of the NPC. Photo: IC

As China's annual two sessions - the meetings of the top legislative body and political advisory body - convene in Beijing and serve as a window for the public to watch the country's political process, female participation in this event has been regarded as a symbol of the country's performance in improving gender equality.

There is no shortage of female faces at the sessions this year, from journalists to top-level deputies sitting on the rostrum in the Great Hall of the People. Among the most prominent women is Fu Ying, spokeswoman for the National People's Congress (NPC).

Official statistics show the ratio of female NPC deputies stayed at a little more than 20 percent since 1978. But China has been dedicated to improving women's political rights. In 2007 the NPC assembly for the first time approved a code that orders female deputies to make up 22 percent of all deputies or above, as the Election Law orders that the People's Congress at both national and regional levels should increase the ratio of female members step by step.

Women's political participation is uneven across China, with more developed regions leading the progressive trend. Shanghai had increased its proportion of female People's Congress members to 31.7 percent in 2014.

Increasing female political participation is key, as female deputies can introduce broader perspectives to the male-dominated political sphere, including securing a protection net for children and extending maternity leave.

The new Anti-domestic Violence Law introduced last year was seen as an achievement of female legislative participation.

However, there is still a long road ahead in improving women's political participation, with Liu Hui, governor of Northwest China's Qinghai Province, being the only female provincial head at the moment.

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