There has been considerable progress in China in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) since the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994.
Following on the ICPD, the Chinese Government collaborated with NGOs to make a number of policy changes that relate broadly to family planning, public health, and gender equality. More specifically, these changes address the following areas in SRR: gender equity and social equality and equity, maternal mortality, safe motherhood and abortion; the promotion and protection of sexual health and rights; safe contraception; prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and reproductive cancer. These provide evidence of China’s attempts to achieve the goals set by the ICPD Programme of Action (PoA).
Chinese women participate in a wide range of political activities and play a number of social roles. The proportion of women who have received education at different levels has been on the rise with women’s educational levels seeing significant improvement. Female employment rates have increased to 46.0 percent in 2000 from 45.7 percent in 1995. This ratio is high and stable and the female employment structure is reasonable. The life expectancy of women in China increased from 70.47 years in 1990 to 73.33 years in 2000, an increase of 2.86 years while that of men has gone up from 66.84 years in 1990 to 69.63 in 2000. The figure for women is close to the life expectancy norms for women in developed countries.