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China Focus: CPC strengthens leadership over women's federation
Last Updated: 2016-09-23 10:58 | Xinhua
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"Women hold up half the sky," according to a slogan first popularized by the former Communist Party of China (CPC) leadership.

The CPC has released a plan to reform the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), which has branches nationwide representing women from all walks of life, to strengthen leadership over women and better pool their strength for national development.

Detailed reform measures include increasing the proportion of outstanding women in the federation's leadership and among delegates to the National Women's Congress, streamlining operations and improving training and services for women, according to the plan released Wednesday by the General Office of the CPC Central Committee.

Reform of the ACWF is a must to unite Chinese women, who number around 670 million, in building "a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way" and realizing the Chinese dream of rejuvenation, according to the plan.

The federation must ensure reform is conducted properly, "adhering to the CPC's leadership," the ACWF said in a statement released later explaining the reform.

The move is part of the CPC's efforts to optimize its affiliated mass organizations and improve leadership and governance, which is considered an "important reform mission" by the Party.

Last month, the General Office of the CPC Central Committee also published reform measures for the China Youth League, the younger preparatory force for the CPC, to "inject vigor" into the organization by improving personnel management and encouraging down-to-earth work styles.

The federation must undertake the task of guiding the women to "listen to the words of the Party and go with the Party," the statement said, adding it will reinforce publicity and education campaigns targeting women, their families and children, and encourage more women to participate in the ongoing supply-side reform, innovation and poverty relief causes.

It will also guide the women to keep their confidence in the socialist road, theories, system and culture with Chinese characteristics.

The ACWF was established in 1949 by the CPC and has played an important role in every stage of China's founding and development.

In 2015, more than 250,000 women joined organizations under the ACWF, according to figures cited in the plan.

The reform also addresses the federation's shortcomings, such as inadequate capabilities in mobilizing women, isolation from grassroots communities and failure to fully represent all women, according to an article carried by the People's Daily, the CPC's flagship newspaper, on Thursday.

Since the founding of new China in 1949, women's status and influence have continued to grow, with female billionaires and officials becoming more common in the past decades.

Women account for one quarter of the entrepreneurs in China, and about 55 percent of new Internet businesses are founded by women.

"As the Chinese people pursue a happy life, every Chinese woman has the opportunity to excel in life and make her dreams come true," President Xi Jinping said last year at the Global Leaders' Meeting on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment. He vowed to give more play to women's important role in holding up "half the sky."

Through the reform, the federation is expected to establish closer contact and to better serve, represent and protect women, as well as guide them in following the Party and consolidating and expanding the Party's popularity among the masses, the People's Daily said.

Without detailing the timetable for the reform, the ACWF said it will deliver satisfying answers to the central authorities.

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