China Focus: China prepares legislative revision to better safeguard women's rights

Source: Xinhua| 2021-12-21 20:46:18|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese lawmakers have put their heads together to deliberate a draft law revision for better protecting the rights and interests of women, eliminating discrimination against them and enhancing their feelings of security.

The draft revision to the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Women was submitted for its first reading on Monday at an ongoing session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.

The legislative move is another major revision to the law which was enacted nearly 30 years ago.

The draft defines efforts of the country to take necessary measures to gradually improve the systems for protecting the rights and interests of women, and eliminate all forms of discrimination against women.

Gender-based exclusion and restriction of women in enjoying all lawful rights and interests are prohibited, according to the draft.

The draft also includes stipulations on strengthening mechanisms for assessing gender equality in laws and policies and improving the system of gender-specific data gathering and monitoring indicators.

Pointing out that some instances of hidden discrimination against women still occur, Peng Jing, a chief supervisor with Chongqing's lawyers association, said that assessing gender equality before rolling out new policies will help to prevent discrimination against women at the source.

Women's rights in education and employment are also emphasized in the draft.

With the exception of special majors, no schools shall refuse to enroll women students on the pretext of gender or raise the enrollment standards for women, says the draft law revision.

It adds that governments at all levels shall take measures to guarantee that women have equal rights and opportunities to receive secondary and higher education.

Employers shall respect women's rights to work, as well as their reproductive rights and interests, according to the draft.

Special labor protection shall be provided to women workers during their menstrual period, pregnancy, obstetrical period and nursing period, the draft adds.

Li Mingshun, a professor from China Women's University, said that the legislative move responds to the new expectation and needs of women for more dignified working experience and a better life.

It also embodies the guidance of legislators for "respecting the social value of childbirth," Li said.

To protect rural women's land rights, the draft stipulates that women's rights and interests in rural collective economic organizations shall not be infringed upon for reasons such as their being single, married, divorced or widowed.

The draft also includes provisions on safeguarding women's safety and human dignity.

Pestering or harassing women under the pretext of being in a relationship, or after the end of cohabitation or divorce, are prohibited by the draft, as well as divulging or disseminating women's private personal information.

The draft also clarifies the joint duties of both husband and wife in the family life.

Women shall, at the time of divorce, have the right to request the husband to make compensation if the wife has been shouldering more duties in respect of bringing up the child, taking care of the old and assisting the husband in work, among others. Enditem