President: China to promote women's equality

08:49, March 08, 2010      

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A PLA air force solider salutes President Hu Jintao before receiving a certificate of honor in Beijing Sunday.

Beijing has planned to do more to achieve gender equality, Chinese President Hu Jintao made the remark in greeting the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, which falls on March 8.

The president made the pledge during a meeting to mark the event at the Great Hall of the People Sunday, where he sent warm encouragements to women's representatives.

The country has made significant achievements in ensuring women's rights and improving their living conditions, Hu said.

Figures from the All-China Women's Federation show more than 90 percent of Chinese women were illiterate in 1949, when New China was founded. In 2008, more than 99 percent of school-age girls had elementary education.

In 1949, the average life expectancy of women was less than 38 years, compared to more than 75 years in 2007.

Women account for 70 percent of people living in poverty around the world, and the majority of them are illiterate.

Around half a million women die annually before, during or shortly after giving birth, and violence is still a leading cause of death for women aged 15 to 44 worldwide.

People's Daily Online
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