Women's federation prepares legislative proposals

Ke Jiayun
During the upcoming "two sessions," the Shanghai Women's Federation will make proposals protecting the rights and interests of women, including female domestic workers.
Ke Jiayun

The Shanghai Women's Federation plans to file proposals on protecting the rights and interests of women and children during the city's "two sessions."

Two proposals will be made to the Shanghai People's Congress (SPC) on amendment to the city's regulations on implementation of a national law on the protection of women's rights and interests, and adding detailed explanations to a regional law on housekeeping services.

According to the proposals, details about anti-domestic violence should be specified in the implementation regulations, such as systems of compulsory reporting, police warning and protection orders.

Issues like regular screening for gynecological diseases and mastopathy, prevention of sexual assault against minors and office sexual harassment should also be clarified.

For the local housekeeping industry, currently there are over 600,000 housekeepers serving some 2 million households in Shanghai and most of them are women.

The federation proposes that the housekeeping service law, which was passed by the SPC last month and will take effect in May, should specify further about protecting female housekeepers' rights and interests. For instance, some female housekeepers may face discrimination as well as some sexual harassment from male employers.

And housekeeping service agencies should protect their female employees especially during periods like pregnancy and lactation.

Another four proposals will be filed to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Shanghai Committee.

One calls for support to families under the second-child policy. Data shows that in 2018, the cost of raising a young child accounted for nearly 60 percent of a local resident's per capita disposable income.

A survey shows that more than 60 percent of local parents have to sned children to their grandparents for raising. And there are other problems, like the employment discrimination women face because of bearing a child and the high cost of nursing institutions.

The federation suggests promoting childcare services in local communities, giving paternity leave for fathers and providing subsidies and taxcuts for "new-type" families.

Now there is also a growing number of young people suffering from mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, thus the federation proposes setting up a community mental service system in Shanghai. Community centers will have professional social workers who can provide mental services and work together with schools and social organizations.

The other two proposals are about women's employment and care for children in need, such as those from poor families, with disabilities and lack of  guardianship.

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