China committed to boosting high-quality development of girls’ and women’s education Peng Liyuan (2nd R), wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, also a UNESCO special envoy for the advancement of girls' and women's education, and Audrey Azoulay(2nd L), director-general of UNESCO, present awards to the award-winning representatives of China Children and Teenagers' Fund and Pakistan Alliance for Girls Education at the award ceremony of the UNESCO Prize for Girls' and Women's Education 2023 in Beijing, China, September 28, 2023. /Xinhua Peng Liyuan (2nd R), wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, also a UNESCO special envoy for the advancement of girls' and women's education, and Audrey Azoulay(2nd L), director-general of UNESCO, present awards to the award-winning representatives of China Children and Teenagers' Fund and Pakistan Alliance for Girls Education at the award ceremony of the UNESCO Prize for Girls' and Women's Education 2023 in Beijing, China, September 28, 2023. /Xinhua

“My life would be totally different without the Spring Bud Project,” recalled Luo Dejuan, deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China Committee of Rongdu Town in southwest China’s Guizhou Province.

Born into a poor family, Luo endured a challenging life as her father battled illness and her mother carried the weight of supporting the entire family. They couldn’t even afford her senior high school tuition.

However, a glimmer of hope appeared when she discovered her eligibility for the Spring Bud Project, which aimed to assist underprivileged young girls in completing their education.

With financial support from the project, she finished senior high school and enrolled in university in 2009.

Luo’s journey from a village girl to a public servant is a shining example of how underprivileged young girls in China can achieve their dreams through this project.

Launched by the China Children and Teenagers’ Fund in 1989, the Spring Bud Project has funded and supported over 3.69 million impoverished girls as of 2019.

China attaches great importance to ensuring women’s equal right to education. Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping and special envoy of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the advancement of girls’ and women’s education, stated this when attending the award ceremony of the 2023 UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education held in Beijing on Thursday.

Boosting high-quality development of girls’ and women’s education

Joined by Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, the ceremony awarded China’s Spring Bud Project and Pakistan’s Star School program—the latter launched by the Pakistan Alliance for Girls’ Education—this year’s UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education.

China has closely collaborated with UNESCO, and the Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education, jointly established by the two sides, has set an example and provided valuable experience for the global development of girls’ and women’s education, Peng said.

In a bid to promote inclusive development, China not only vigorously advances its own women’s cause but also makes unremitting efforts to promote global gender equality and women’s development.

Chinese women’s organizations have engaged in friendly exchanges with 429 women’s organizations and institutions in 145 countries, as well as relevant UN organizations.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACWF has donated pandemic prevention materials worth more than 20 million yuan (about $2.73 million) to nearly 30 countries.

Meanwhile, the ACWF has organized over 100 training and skills courses for more than 2,000 women’s organizations and institutions in more than 100 developing countries, including those along the Belt and Road Initiative.

Peng emphasized China’s willingness to collaborate with all parties to promote international exchanges and cooperation in boosting the high-quality development of girls’ and women’s education worldwide.

Commending China’s strong support for UNESCO and Professor Peng’s outstanding contribution to promoting girls’ and women’s education worldwide, Azoulay said UNESCO is eager to continue strengthening cooperation with China to further the development of girls’ and women’s education globally.

China committed to advancing cause of women and children

During the ceremony, Peng emphasized the importance of developing health, digital, and science education to help more girls and women improve their health, enhance their ability for innovation and entrepreneurship, and grasp the key to creating a happy life in the new era.

China has always placed the cause of women and children in a pivotal position during its reform and opening-up, as well as its modernization drive. Economic and social development is closely integrated with the promotion of women’s and children’s all-round development.

Over the years, China has continually improved its legal system to further protect women’s equal rights and interests in political, economic, cultural, social, and family fields.

Additionally, China ranks at the top in core indicators of maternal and child health among middle- and upper-income countries worldwide. The World Health Organization lists China among the top 10 countries with high performance in maternal and child health globally.

In a recent directive concerning China’s efforts for women and children, President Xi called for dedication and increased efforts to make new and greater contributions to advancing the high-quality development of the cause of women and children.

Xi emphasized the importance of creating favorable conditions and platforms for women’s participation in economic and social development, as well as protecting the legal rights and interests of women and children.

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