China to revise women's protection law for first time in decades

By Reuters   October 27, 2022 | 04:01 am PT
China to revise women's protection law for first time in decades
Two women and their babies pose for photographs in front of the giant portrait of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong on the Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, November 2, 2015. Photo by Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Legislation aimed at giving women in China more protection against gender discrimination and sexual harassment at work was submitted to China's parliament on Thursday after a third revision and extensive public input.

It is the first time in nearly 30 years that the law on women's protection is being revised. The draft "Women's Rights and Interests Protection Law" was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), the official Xinhua news agency said.

The latest draft has not been released to the public but tens of thousands of people sent in suggestions for what they would like to see in it, the NPC said on its website.

Xinhua said the draft "strengthens the protection of the rights and interests of disadvantaged groups such as poor women, elderly women, and disabled women."

Employers will be held to account if women's labor and social security rights and interests are violated, while obstructing the rescue of trafficked and kidnapped women will be specified as an offense.

The responsibility of local authorities to rescue trafficked and abducted women will also be set out, Xinhua said.

Images posted online early this year of a woman in chains caused outrage and stirred debate about the handling of human trafficking, particularly in rural areas where the issue has been documented for years.

No date has been set for the passing of the draft legislation into law.

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