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16th Congress to Find Ways to Promote More Women Cadres

By Tamara Perkins, China News Digest, 24 April 2001

[CND, 04/24/01] Finding ways to correct gender imbalances in senior CCP and government positions will be a top priority, sources said, according to a South China Morning Post report.

Currently, the only two women in central leadership positions are WU Yi, a state Councillor and CHEN Zili, Education Minister and there are no women in the CCP Politburo.

Promotion planning was the key item at three meetings chaired by ZENG Qinghong, who is head of the CCP's Organization Department. Sources said that more women will be promoted in the next several months in anticipation of next year's 16th CCP Congress, when a new leadership roster will be announced.

In CCP's history, there had been several women in high positions, including Mao Zedong's wife JIANG Qing and ZHOU Enlai's widow, DENG Yingchao, who was a member of the Politburo. After that generation women retired or died, women in high positions became rare.

The promotion of women runs parallel with another push to improve leading cadre quality. As part of the latter program, all cadres at the highest levels are required to receive training at a central or provincial Party School, the State Administrative College of the State Council or the National Defense University. (Tamara Perkins)