The Shanghai Women's Federation will propose an amendment to Shanghai's job promotion regulations to better protect women's employment rights and interests, and create a public interest litigation mechanism to protect women and children for the city's Two Sessions.
Today, federation officials said the organization plans to submit seven proposals for the annual conferences of the local political advisory and legislative bodies, which will kick off next weekend.
The proposals focus on areas such as improving female employment environments, increasing outdoor sports facilities for children, establishing a three-tier reading system for children, and adjusting current adoption policies, said Weng Wenlei, deputy chairwoman of the federation.
The Fourth Plenary Session of the 13th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Shanghai Committee will take place between January 23 and 26, while the fifth session of the 15th Shanghai People's Congress (SPC) will run from January 24 to January 27.
The city's regulations to boost employment were enacted in 2005, and have not been changed since. However, the uptick in female employment has created new dynamics over the years, making an adjustment urgent, said Weng.
"Explicit discrimination in the female job market requires improvement of the public service system on employment," she said.
The federation has proposed measures related to equality between men and women in the city's employment regulations, subsidies for women whose careers are affected by pregnancy or lactation, and providing public services such as psychological support and flexible training to women.
In other proposals, it has called for after-school nursing for children based on need, stronger economic and administrative penalties for companies that infringe on the rights and interests of women in the workplace and upgrades of mother-and-children-centric facilities.
A survey conducted last year by the federation and East China Normal University with 2,220 married respondents of childbearing ages found that Shanghai families have little interest in having large families. Only 30 percent of respondents said they want two or more children, while nearly 70 percent want only one child.
"The concept of childbearing, financial implications and nursing children hinder families from having more kids, which calls for more support from society and guaranteed rights for pregnant women," said Weng.