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China Introduces Revised Law to Improve Women’s Rights

Chinese lawmakers have submitted a draft amendment to the country’s Law on Women’s Rights Protection, first passed in 1992, to strengthen its equality provisions for women. If passed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the amendment will make women’s rights part of state policy for the first time in China, reports the BBC. The revised law also addresses sexual harassment for the first time and criminalizes domestic violence.

Sexual harassment in particular has gained increasing attention in China. In a recent survey, a staggering 79 percent of Chinese women reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment, according to the People’s Daily. Further, since 2001 only ten sexual harassment lawsuits have been brought before Chinese courts, with only one woman winning her case. As Mo Wenxiu, vice chairwoman of the All-China Women’s Federation told the People’s Daily, the current law has a number of gaps that need to be addressed. The draft amendment, she said “aims to ensure the gradual improvement of Chinese women’s political rights.”

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Sources:

People's Daily 6/27/05, Chinadaily.com 6/27/05, BBC 6/27/05