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Boosting Chinese Women's Participation in Politics
Project Name: Boosting Chinese Women's Participation in Politics
Project level: Key project of the Women's Studies Institute of China (WSIC)
Start time: 2011
End time: 2014
Project Leader:
Name Position or title Unit
Tan Lin Researcher WISC
Du Jie Associate Research Fellow WISC
Project team members:
Name Unit 职务或职称
Zhang Yongying WSIC Associate Research Fellow
Ma Dongling WSIC Assistant Researcher
Li Yani WSIC Assistant Researcher
Main content: Since the founding of new China in 1949, Chinese women's participation in politics has made considerable progress, and it has been praised and admired by the world. But during the past 20 years, compared to the international situation, their participation has not been optimistic. In 2006, the United Nations Commission on Disambiguation expressed serious concern on the low number of women representatives in China's public and political life and decision-making positions; there not being stated a ratio for females in the law on village committee organization. The commission asked the Chinese Government to take sustained measures, including temporary special measures, to improve the situation.

We have to admit women's political participation in China is facing a number of difficulties and challenges. The ratio of female participation in China's politics in general is still low. The ratio of female representatives in the National People's Congress (NPC) and female members of the Chinese people’s Political Consultative Conference shows disparity with the United Nations' objectives for women in Parliaments in a proportion of at least 30 percent. In 2010, the NPC Law enforcement inspection results and, at a similar time, Singapore newspaper comments, were mentioned among leading Chinese officials, as pointing out that the proportion of female officials was low, especially senior and young officials, with disproportionately more deputies, fewer top leaders; more low-level, fewer high-level; and so on. Besides, in the composition of reserve official teams, the female officials in number, age, and professional knowledge were not ideal. In addition, the proportion of women directors of village committees and village committee members was not suitably adjusted to the proportion of women taking part in agricultural production.

Commissioned by the All-China Women's Federation International Department to promote women's participation in politics, the Women's Studies Institute is mainly responsible for these topics:

1) Overall project baseline survey

A. From a research perspective, a baseline survey was an opportunity to broaden research on women's participation in politics and, in connection with a field survey, to assist in understanding decision makers' gender consciousness and awareness of women's political participation.
B. An investigation into the proportion of women and their participation among the representatives of the National People's Congress, and the obstacles and challenges they encountered.
C. An investigation into the situation of rural women in politics, the living conditions of female village officials, and the villagers' awareness of women's participation in politics; and so on, to obtain first-hand information on digging primary causes of the low ratio of women in politics; and their status.

According to the project's overall framework and plans, this project included mainly three issues:

First, policy support for women's participation in politics, including the advocacy capacity of policymakers and media workers, focusing on issues of quotas and civil servants at the same age of retirement for men and women; and policymakers and media workers' awareness of the significance of women's political participation and its difficulties.

Second, the participation of women in the National People's Congress and village committees, including women representatives' advocacy skills and their status in participating in decision-making, the participation of women in village committee elections; and the villagers' awareness of gender discrimination in identifying village regulations and operating conditions.

Third, promoting women's participation in the politics of multi-sector cooperation mechanisms, including government, civil society and the media's awareness and capacity for monitoring women's participation in politics, United Nations agencies and other international organizations involved in the development of monitoring tools of women's political participation and rights.

For these focus topics, we investigated:

1) What was women's status? - including achievements and gaps; 2) what is there to look forward to, including current challenges and strategies to face challenges.

In order to obtain this information, which will be based on different issues and people, we will adopt various methods and means, including integration of literature reviews, questionnaire surveys and seminars, to pursue this course rigorously and scientifically, and meanwhile increasing interaction and participation.

The second part: the development of training materials and manuals
1. Development of gender equality training data for decision makers
2. Development proposals for legislators drafting gender-sensitive instruction manuals
3. Developing compliance assistance with the principle of gender equality in the "Villagers' Organic Law" manual

The third part: survey research

At national and local levels, to carry out research into the promotion of officials and civil servants at the same age of retirement.

The fourth part: holding seminars

1. Among Hunan's NPC representatives and senior human resources decision makers, to hold seminars on the promotion of officials and civil servants at the same age of retirement.
2. Policy dialogue with the local people's Congress and the Department of human resource management on civil servants' retirement age.
Results of the project:
Name Author Results form Press publication name or time Notes
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