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Responses of the Chinese Government on Follow-up Actions Mentioned in the Concluding Observations of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

February 14, 2017

Date submitted: January 10, 2016

Translation by Human Rights in China

Chinese available at UN website:


Responses of the Chinese Government on Follow-up Actions
Mentioned in the Concluding Observations of the United Nations
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women


Since the review of China’s combined seventh and eighth periodic reports on its implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in October 2014, the Chinese government has continued to actively promote the cause of protecting women’s rights, effectively advanced gender equality, conscientiously defended women’s rights, and safeguarded and promoted women’s comprehensive development. In accordance with the recommendations for follow-up actions in the Concluding Observations (para. 78), and combining the measures taken and results achieved over the past two years, the Chinese government hereby responds to the relevant questions in paragraphs 15 and 31 in the Concluding Observations:

一、确保通过向包括介入土地申索的妇女在内的对象提供法律援助等办法,使妇女可以有效获得司法救助等 [第15段(a)]

I. Ensure that women have effective access to justice, including women involved in land claims, by providing legal aid, etc. (para. 15(a))


The Chinese government has further advanced reforms in the judicial area and has attached greater importance to the protection of women’s rights and interests. It has also made providing legal aid for women the key focus of legal aid work and has taken various measures to advance the development of relevant work. The Opinions on Perfecting the Legal Aid System issued in 2015 clearly require the further expansion of the scope of legal aid, including that for women.


In 2015, in order to more effectively safeguard women’s land rights, the government issued the Opinions on Conscientiously Carrying Out the Work of Verifying, Registering and Certifying Rural Land Contract and Management Rights. It clearly puts forward the following: the certification of contract and management rights shall clearly state the name(s) of the owner(s) or co-owners, reflecting the principle of gender equality, and effectively protecting women’s rights and interests in land contracts. Special training on protecting women’s rights and interests in land contracts is being conducted in various regions; during the verification and registration of the rights, the principle of “one person, one right; nothing less, nothing more” is being upheld; arbitration committees of rural land contracts are taking in local chapters of the All-China Women’s Federation as members, emphasizing the employment of female arbitrators and bolstering the strength of protection of women’s rights and interests. For example, in the “case of dispute over the rights and interests of members of the collective economic organization in Mrs. Jin’s village” in Rui’an, Zhejiang, “disadvantaged rural married woman” Mrs. Jin and her daughter were granted equal land contracts and relevant economic rights and interests with the assistance of legal aid.


China supports non-governmental organizations in their effort to provide legal aid services for women. Under the auspices of the legal aid program of the central government’s special lottery fund for public welfare, civil society organizations spearheaded and participated in the implementation of the “Action Program for Women’s Legal Aid in China.” In 2016, the fund contributed over RMB 23 million to support legal aid for women's cases, and over 17,000 people benefited from this program.

二、防止政治机构对司法机关进行各种形式的干扰,以便确立司法机关的独立地位等 [第15段(b)]

II. Establish independence of the judiciary by preventing all forms of interference by the political branch, etc. (para. 15 (b))


China is a socialist country under the rule of law: ruling the country by law is the basic policy of the Communist Party of China (CPC) for leading the people and governing the country; rule of law is the basic approach to governing the country and managing government affairs. Articles 126 and 131 of the Constitution of China clearly stipulate that “the people’s courts exercise judicial power independently, in accordance with the provisions of law, and not subject to interference by any administrative organ, public organization or individual,” and that “the people’s procuratorates exercise procuratorial power independently, in accordance with the provisions of law, and not subject to interference by any administrative organ, public organization or individual.” The Chinese Criminal Procedure Law, Civil Procedure Law, Administrative Procedure Law, Organic Law of the People’s Courts, and Organic Law of the People’s Procuratorates, among others, each lays out concrete and clear provisions based on the Constitution regarding the judicial organs’ independent exercise of judicial and procuratorial powers in accordance with the law and free from interference by other administrative organs, organizations, or individuals.


In recent years, the Chinese government has comprehensively promoted the construction of rule of law in China, comprehensively deepened judicial system reform, and further optimized the allocation of judicial authorities in order to ensure the independent and just exercise of judicial and procuratorial powers in accordance with the law. Since 2014, the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms has deliberated and issued 27 documents on judicial system reform, the Supreme People’s Court issued the Opinions on Comprehensively Deepening Reform in People’s Courts: The Fourth Five-Year Reform Guidelines for People’s Courts, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate formulated and implemented the Opinions Regarding Deepening Procuratorial Reform (2013-2017 Work Plans), etc. In four reforms comprehensively carried out nationwide—to perfect the judicial responsibility system, to perfect the system of managing judicial personnel by category, to perfect the job security system for judicial professionals, and to advance the integrated management of the personnel, finance, and resources of local people’s courts and procuratorates below the provincial level by their counterparts at the provincial level—the reform of the legal procedural system centering on adjudication has been steadily advanced; the modernization of the state governing system and governing capabilities has been further promoted; judicial fairness and justice have been safeguarded; and judicial credibility has been steadily increased.


In order to prevent certain units and individuals from illegally interfering with the judicial handling of cases, in March 2015, the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council issued the Regulations on Recording, Reporting, and Pursuing Accountability of Leading Cadres Who Interfere with Judicial Activities and Intervene in the Handling of Specific Cases, and the Committee of Political and Legal Affairs under the CPC Central Committee deliberated and passed the Regulations on Recording and Pursuing Accountability of Internal Personnel of Judicial Organs Who Inquire about Cases. [The former] clearly stipulate that“no leading cadre shall demand judicial organs to handle cases in violation of their functions and responsibilities as prescribed by law or without due process.” For violations that result in adverse influence, disciplinary punishment shall be given in accordance with relevant rules and regulations; for violations that result in false incrimination or other serious consequences and constitute crimes, criminal responsibility shall be pursued in accordance with the law. The Supreme People’s Court further formulated the Measures for Implementing the “Regulations on Recording, Reporting, and Pursuing Accountability of Leading Cadres Who Interfere with Judicial Activities and Intervene in the Handling of Specific Cases” by the People’s Courts, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate formulated Certain Regulations Regarding Strengthening the Internal Supervision of Law Enforcement’s Handling of Cases in Order to Prevent Pleading for Mercy and Other Interference. These and other complementary measures further safeguard, on the systemic level, the independent exercise of adjudicatory and procuratorial powers by people’s courts and people’s procuratorates, respectively, in accordance with the provisions of law, free from interference by administrative organs, organizations or individuals.

三、采用更多规范性暂行特别措施,例如配额,以便加快妇女全面而且平等地参加各类选举产生的和经过任命的机构 [第 31段(b)]

III. To adopt more prescriptive temporary special measures, such as quotas, in order to accelerate women’s full and equal participation in elected and appointed bodies (para. 31 (b))


China has actively taken temporary special measures, including quotas, to promote women’s participation in and discussion of politics. First, [it has] conscientiously implemented quota ratios. According to the mid-term statistical monitoring report for the Program for Women’s Development in China (2011-2020), the proportion of women participating in decision-making and management in government and enterprises has increased. The proportion of female deputies to the National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference has increased, and the ratio of female civil service personnel has grown continuously higher. In 2015, female civil service personnel comprised 51.9 percent of all civil service personnel newly employed by central government organs and their directly affiliated institutions. On corporate boards of directors, female staffers composed 38.4 percent of all staffers sitting on the board of directors. In residents’ committees, 49.2 percent of the members were female, meeting the goal set by the Program. Elections of villagers’ committees in various regions have conscientiously implemented the Rules and Procedures for Elections of Villagers’ Committees issued by the Ministry of Civil Affairs in 2013, including the temporary special measures therein. For example, in 2016, the elections of villagers’ committees in Beijing held a special election for committee member positions specifically designated for women. As a result, 32.4 percent of the newly elected committee members were women, ensuring female committee membership in every village. The National Human Rights Action Plan (2016-2020) issued in September 2016 clearly stipulates that by 2020, the proportion of female members in villagers’ committees will exceed 30 percent, and that of female members in residents’ committees will remain at around 50 percent. Second, [it stipulates] the review and amendment of previous temporary special measures to better guarantee women’s equal participation in political life and public life. In 2015, relevant national authorities published notices clearly stipulating that female cadres who are directors or deputy directors of county divisions and those occupying positions at equivalent levels, as well as senior-level female professional technical personnel, shall retire at the age of 60; at the same time, stipulating that one may apply to voluntarily retire at the age of 55. Furthermore, the government has also conducted research on the quota system for women’s political participation to continuously promote women’s participation in politics.

四、彻底调查关于针对独立候选人身份参选的妇女的虐待和暴力侵害指控,确保犯罪分子受到起诉和妥善惩处; [31段(d)]

IV. To thoroughly investigate allegations of violence and abuse against women who stand for election as independent candidates and ensure that the perpetrators are prosecuted and adequately punished (para. 31 (d))


China’s Electoral Law makes clear stipulations for the electoral procedures at people’s congresses. Citizens standing for election to people’s congresses and all other electoral activities must proceed within the scope of legal provisions and in strict accordance with procedures as prescribed by law. According to the Electoral Law, any citizens standing for election to people’s congresses at the county or township level must first complete their voter registrations in their respective electoral districts and have their voter qualifications checked and verified by their election committees. Next, [they] shall be recommended as candidates for deputies in accordance with the law. According to the provisions of the Electoral Law, various political parties and people’s organizations may either jointly or separately recommend candidates for deputies, and a joint group of at least ten voters may also recommend candidates. Third, the election committees shall collect and submit lists of candidates for deputies to voters in their respective electoral districts for discussion and consultation, and then determine the lists of official candidates for deputies according to the opinions of the majority of voters. When necessary, the lists of official candidates for deputies can be determined through primary elections. Fourth, the election committees shall be in charge of organizing and conducting activities to introduce the candidates for deputies [to the voters].


Based on the above-mentioned stipulations, candidates for deputies to people’s congresses at the county or township level must first be nominated as “candidates for deputies” by various political parties, various people’s organizations, or voters in accordance with the law and the procedures prescribed by law, and then be determined as “official candidates for deputies” through discussion and consultation, or through primary elections.

五、通过采取特定手段促进和方便在族裔和宗教方面属于少数群体的妇女参加,确保《国家人权行动计划》得到落实 [31段(e)]

V. To ensure the implementation of the National Human Rights Action Plan through the adoption of specific measures to promote and facilitate the participation of ethnic and religious minority women (para. 31 (e))


Since 2014, the Chinese government has taken vigorous measures to ensure that the rights of ethnic minorities and women continue to be effectively guaranteed, basically meeting the goals anticipated in the National Human Rights Action Plan (2012-2015).


First is guaranteeing the rights of ethnic minority women to equal participation in managing state and social affairs. The government has strengthened the training efforts for female cadres of ethnic minorities, and selected outstanding ethnic minority women to attend universities for ethnic groups or other educational institutions to learn and further their studies, in order to comprehensively increase their overall quality and capability for political participation. In cadre selections and promotions, certain preferential measures have been taken. For example, where a male and a female cadre possess the same qualifications, the female cadre shall be prioritized for promotion; during open cadre selections and promotions, some positions shall be set aside exclusively for promotion of women. The number of female cadres of ethnic minorities has seen a visible increase. For example: in 2015, the proportion of female cadres of ethnic minorities in Qinghai Province reached 36.28 percent of total.


Second is accelerating the development of ethnic minority education and increasing the quality of ethnic minority women. [The government] has actively set up schools in ethnic minority regions, vigorously promoted dual-language education, and opened classes specially for girls or schools specially for women, in order to increase the enrollment rate of girls. [The government] has provided tuition assistance and partial or full tuition and fees exemptions to students in ethnic minority regions, and provided suitable subsidies to students with special financial difficulties, in order to increase enrollment rate, retention rate, and overall nutritional wellbeing, etc.


Third is protecting the religious freedom of ethnic minority women. At the same time that the five major religions in China carry on their respective historical traditions, [the government] has effectively promoted the guarantee of women’s rights to participation. In China, ethnic minorities such as the Hui people and Uyghurs are generally of the Islamic faith, and ethnic minorities such as the Tibetans are generally practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism. [The government] guarantees Chinese Muslim women’s equal participation in the Hajj. According to incomplete statistics, each year Muslim women make up around 48 percent of all Muslims in China who attend the Hajj. In order to facilitate Muslim women’s participation in religious activities, mosques in China generally have a special area set aside for Muslim women to attend religious services. In some places, there are mosques that were specially set up for women and employ female imams. As for Tibetan Buddhism, there are temples with female clerical personnel and set up for the exclusive use of women for religious practices (nuns and nunneries of Tibetan Buddhism)—these all have government registrations or records in accordance with the law. The government’s pension system, health insurance policy, and other policies guaranteeing rights and interests apply to female clerical personnel and their temples.


Fourth is launching activities to publicize gender equality, guaranteeing the equal rights and interests of ethnic minority women. The State Ethnic Affairs Commission has included in its law popularization plans the relevant laws and regulations concerning the guarantee of the rights and interests of women and children. Through the National Quiz Competition on Ethnic Affairs, the National Work Conference on Education for Ethnic Groups, awards for television programs and movies by ethnic minorities, law popularization training sessions, training sessions for editing professionals at publishers of ethnic content, among others, the government has publicized policies on ethnic equality and gender equality, increased the publicity of relevant laws and regulations, and created a healthy environment where ethnic minority women are respected and cared for.


In summary, the Chinese government hopes that the responses above can assist the Committee in forming a more comprehensive and objective understanding of the efforts made and progress achieved by the Chinese government in advancing gender equality and guaranteeing women’s rights and interests. The Chinese government will continue to conscientiously implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination, and engage and cooperate with the Committee on the basis of equality and mutual respect, to guarantee women’s rights and interests in accordance with the law, strengthen the guarantee of women’s livelihood, promote the coordinated developments of women’s causes, the economy, and society, thus advancing women’s all-around development.