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Contribution of rural women in development should be acknowledged: Chinese official

(Xinhua)

10:14, February 29, 2012

UNITED NAITONS, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- The role and contribution of rural women in development should be appreciated and acknowledged, a Chinese official on women issue said here on Tuesday.

Meng Xiaosi, vice-chairwoman of the All-China Women's Federation, made the remarks at the general debate of the 56th Commission on the Status of Women.

She said that everywhere in the world, rural women are the driving force for agricultural production, food security and rural development. They contribute greatly to their countries, societies and families. It is therefore the common responsibility of all countries and the international community to safeguard the welfare of rural women and promote their legitimate rights, interests and development.

Meng briefed the delegates about effective measures adopted by the Chinese government to advance the development of rural women. "Financial support to rural and urban women is provided through micro credit to help them start their own business. All interests on such loans are paid in full by the government," she said. "This has directly helped more than 1.3 million rural and urban women with their businesses, which in turn created job opportunities for more than 4 million women."

In order to improve the health of rural women, the Chinese government has implemented programs that offer subsidies to rural women for in-hospital delivery, regular checkup and treatment for cervical cancer and breast cancer, and prenatal and post-natal folic acid supplement, Meng elaborated.

To effectively implement the UN documents on women including rural women, Meng called on the international community to demonstrate stronger political will, and continue to advance gender mainstreaming, giving full consideration to women's needs and interests particularly in responses to the financial and economic crisis, disaster relief and reduction, and environmental protection making sure that women enjoy equality with men as they participate in, contribute to and benefit from national growth and social development.

She also hoped the world to give particular attention to difficulties and challenges faced by rural women in developing countries so as to provide effective support to their development and empowerment.

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