Purna Shova Chitrakar
Nepal China Women Friendship Society
The Chief Guest of this program, Her Excellency the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China, representatives from various political parties, honorable Members of Parliament, entrepreneurs, professionals, reporters, friends and distinguished guests. Firstly, on behalf of Nepal-China Women's Friendship Society, I would like to cordially welcome and gratitude to Her Excellency Madam Yu Hong for allowing us some time from her busy schedule, and welcome all distinguished guests present on this occasion.
Relations between Nepal and China have been woven together for hundreds of years forming intertwining lattices of politics, economy, social and culture. Bhrikuti's name has been immortalized for becoming a bridge between our nations. Nepal-China Women Friendship Society has provided encouragement and chance to further promote this cause.
Nepal finally has the constitution. This constitution has undoubtedly promoted women's rights. For instance, the clauses that require having one woman filling either the Presidential or the Vice-presidential position, and one becoming either a Speaker or Deputy Speaker at a time, clauses sanctioning the securing of 33 percent among the leadership of political parties and the parliament and of 40 percent in local agencies has certainly helped increase the participation of women within politics and government. Women have carried mantles as heavy, as important and as impressive as President, Speaker, and Chief Justice of Supreme Court. But on the other hand, most of the people have continued to face economic, social and cultural barriers. Only 57.4 percent of women are literate, about 2.1 million households do not have toilets; 8 hundred thousand people live virtually without any form of physical facilities. About 35 percent of the households are depended access to water from wells and spouts. Electricity has only reached about 67 percent of all households, and 64 percent still use fire wood as fuel. 1.5 million children aged 10 to 14 have fallen prey to child marriage. Women performing meaningful economically active are limited to services are 37.5 percent. Woman leadership within businesses, industries and trade are extremely rare. Cases regarding child labour, violence against women, and migrated women's problems have been worsening. This has been followed by impediments in their overall development.
Women are an important part of society. They are half of the sky. Women's skills, their involvement within political, economic, social and cultural endeavors and accomplishments under their leadership with become significant in bringing about change and development to Nepal. Nepal's conservative or traditional society, political instability, and the sentiment tending to focus on surviving a day and not striving for more has negatively impacted the amount of women leading economic projects. Time has taught us that without economic development and stability, there will be political instability. Unless women are empowered economically, their rights will continue to not be secured.
We understand that China, being our neighbours presents us with opportunity, but we have failed to even learn from our neighbours, we have failed to bring fruit to our possibilities.
Nepal has been drawing attention to the necessity of electricity, tourism, communications, trade, export, technical education and automated farms. These sectors may play vital roles to induce women's development and empowerment.
Nepal China Women's Friendship Society is a non-governmental, non-profit organization. This organization aims to bring about solidarity between Nepal and China. It provides a platform to exchange success stories and bring to light the lives and successes of renowned women of our two nations. It hopes to provide chance and change to women's education, health and employment. We hope to share our experiences, our knowledge, our skills, and we hope to strengthen relations between Nepal and China. To accomplish this goal, we have already carried out various activities.
This organization believes that by sharing our experiences, strengthening the sisterhood of our two nations, encouraging political stability through economic development, and promoting peace within our society through the medium of such meetings, gatherings, symposiums and seminars.
Lastly, I would like to thank all of our guests today for making time in all your busy schedules. Thank you.
27 January 2017
Speech delivered by Her Excellency Ambassador of China to Nepal Ms. Yu Hong
Firstly, I would like to thank everyone present today, when the Chinese New Year is just around the corner: here within this hall, we are like members of one huge family. It has already been more than two months since I arrived to Nepal; I have felt the warmth of Nepal-China friendship and its support from the Nepalese people. Today, women officials from the Embassy and I have come together to meet our friends from the Nepal-China Women’s Friendship Society. I hope that in my term as Ambassador, I can provide to the utmost my humble efforts in order to bring about development in Nepalese economy and society and continue to deepen the friendship between Nepal and China.
I would like to use this opportunity to introduce to everyone present a few things about China, the newest developments we have had in regards to Nepal-China relations, and share a few things about the condition of the developments in Chinese women’s employment.
1. Regarding advances in the development in China
Since the establishment of the new China, China has always followed a policy of acting independently and with initiative while maintaining peaceful foreign relations. In 1978, China implemented its economic reform, and in the 40 years since its implementation, China’s GDP has been maintained at the high rate of 10%. In 2011, China surpassed Japan and became the second largest economic body in the world. Last year, China’s GDP increase rate was 6.7%, China’s contribution to the growth of the global economy was 33.2%, highest position the world.
The reason that the Chinese economy has produced such impressive results stems from the fact that China has put economic development as its principal pillar, while maintaining stable politics and with all the Chinese people working assiduously to achieve the “Chinese Dream”. China has always benefitted from taking its national conditions in account before choosing a path that is suitable for progress.
China’s progress is directly correlated to the globalized economy and support from the international society, and China is also willing to provide support to give driving force to other developing countries whereby achieving collective development. In order to achieve this, in 2013 September, His ____ Chairman Xi Jin Ping presented proposal for the “One Belt One Road” policy, inviting in neighbouring countries to hop aboard China’s economic “express train” to accomplish joint prosperity. At present, 100 countries and international organizations have already expressed their support. China wholeheartedly anticipates its union with Nepal under the “One Belt One Road” structure to achieve joint progress.
2. Regarding the condition of the developments in Chinese women’s employment
China began its women’s liberation movements towards the end of the 19th Century. After the establishment of the new China, gender equality and its problems were highlighted and incorporated into the national policies. In order to bring about gender equality, the All-China Women’s Federation was established in April, 1949. Its slogan at the time was “Women Hold up Half the Sky”. In 1995, the Fourth United Nations’ Conference on Women was conducted by China in Beijing. In 2015 September, His Excellency Chairman Xi Jin Ping was present in the Global Women’s Summit held in New York where he promised to strive for women’s development in tandem with social and economic progress, protect women’s rights and interest, make efforts to build harmonious and inclusive societies and foster a global environment favorable for women’s development. In order to support women’s development worldwide and the work of UN women, China donated US $10 Million to UN Women in order to implement the “Beijing Manifesto” and the “Program of Action” and promised to help other developing countries build 100 “health projects for women and children”. Last week (2017, 18th of January), both Nepalese and Chinese governments (China Sanitation Planning Committee and Nepal Sanitation Department) signed on the agreement for the cooperation to carry out maternal and Child Health Pilot Project and for the cooperation to carry out Targeted Hospital Counterpart Support, which belong to one of the projects among the 100. China has already dispatched 17 medical teams who have been helping hospitals in Nepal conduct training and treating patients for free.
According to “China National Program for Women’s Development (2011-2020)” formulated by the Chinese Government, in the coming 10 years, China will be focusing on fields such as women and economy, women’s participation in decision-making and management, women’s education, women and health, women and the law and women and the environment, safeguarding 57 objectives in women’s rights and interests. At present, women have already held important posts of Honorary Chairman, State Council’s Vice-Premier, State Councilor, Minister, Governor, etc. Among the 2987 deputies to the National People’s Congress, 677 are women, constituting 23.4%. Currently, there are 15 women Ambassadors for the PRC.
3. Regarding Nepal-China relations
Nepal-China relations has undergone and endured many trials of time since the establishment of diplomatic relations, flourished in cooperation in many fields, grown trust in terms of politics, and worked closer in joint ventures. China is currently Nepal’s second largest trading and funding partner, and its second largest tourist source. Nepal and China already formed 8 sister city relations. Starting from 2005, China has already deployed 585 volunteers to Nepal. After the earthquake in 2015, China immediately provided assistance to Nepal, and promised to help Nepal in areas such as infrastructure reconstruction, rehabilitation of quake victims in mountainous areas, restoration of cultural heritage sites, capacity building in disaster prevention, coping and response, and medical and sanitation institution buildings.
The reason that Nepal-China relations has flourished stems from mutual respect and the principle of noninterference in internal affairs. Being Nepal’s friendly neighbors, China hopes for Nepal’s political stability and economic development and appreciates the Nepalese government abiding by Chinese policy, disallowing any force from using Nepalese territory to conduct anti-China activities. Last year in March, during Prime Minister Oli’s visit to China, Nepal and China both signed on an important multi-project cooperation agreement, at present both countries are assiduously driving towards implementing this agreement.
For many years, Nepal China Women’s Friendship Society has been promoting Nepal-China friendship, and has provided important contributions to the development of Nepal-China relations. Last year in October, the then Ambassador to China in Nepal collaborated with Nepal-China Women’s Friendship Society to donate computers, weaving machines, cultural dresses and household implements to people in Chitwan District. Within this new year, we hope to continue to work with NCWFS to promote communication between women from two countries, and continue to strengthen Nepal-China relations.
Once again, in the occasion of the Chinese New Year, I wish the best to all the friends from NCWFS, wish your health, success and happiness!