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87.1 Pct of China's Provincial Regions Have Female Vice Governors
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2011-8-10-
Title: 87.1 Pct of China's Provincial Regions Have Female Vice Governors
Author:
Source: womenofchina.cn
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Keyword: National Program on the Development of Chinese Women (2011-2020) political participation
 

By 2010, 87.1 percent of China's provincial regions had female vice governors, an increase from 64.5 percent in 2000, said Song Xiuyan, vice chairwoman of the National Working Committee on Children and Women under the State Council, or China's Cabinet.

"China has made remarkable progress in terms of political participation by women," Song said at a press conference held on Tuesday.

Women are also represented in the leadership of 89.4 percent of the country's municipal governments, an increase from 65.1 percent in 2000, according to Song. The proportion of female leaders at the county level rose from 59.8 percent in 2000 to 86.2 percent in 2010.

At the central level, China has a single female state councilor, Liu Yandong, as well as three vice chairwomen of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and four vice chairwomen leading the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Song said.

"We still have a lot of work to do to raise social awareness and guarantee gender equality through legal means," Song said in response to a question about a lack of female representation at higher levels of government.

Song also discussed new measures being put into place to help women seek employment. Micro-finance loans have been made available to help women start their own businesses. Women can obtain up to 100,000 yuan (15,500 U.S. dollars) in low-interest loans, with the interest being borne by central and local authorities.

Twenty-six billion yuan in micro-finance loans have been provided to women so far, including a number of female college graduates, said Song.

State and provincial governments have spent nearly 1 billion yuan in covering the interest on micro-finance loans offered to women, said Song.

The Tuesday press conference was held to unveil the National Program on the Development of Chinese Women (2011-2020), which was issued by the government on Monday.

The program, issued every 10 years by the State Council, aims to boost children's physical and mental health and narrow the development gap between urban and rural women and children.

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