2006 Winner
Daxing District, Beijing
Innovations and Excellence in Local Chinese Governance
Innovations and Excellence in Local Chinese Governance
In order to integrate efforts to protect women’s and children’s rights across departments, the Daxing District in Beijing established Posts for the Safeguarding of Women’s Rights in each district and sub-district office. The purpose of this interdepartmental office is to build a network to meet the needs of the complex and substantial cases affecting women and children in the Daxing District. This Post for the Safeguarding of Women’s Rights operates in tandem with the Departments of Public Security, Common Prosecution, Judiciary, Labor, Social Security, and Industry & Commerce, as well as the Women’s Federation and the Consumer’s Association. When the program began in 2002, there were eight offices in eight departments; now there are forty.
The Daxing District Posts have five internal mechanisms for ensuring their smooth operation within and between departments: the first is to unify work regulations across offices. Based on the operations of all departments related to women’s rights, the Post formulates unified work regulations. Second, the Post is dedicated to internal uniformity of operations. The Women’s Federation is primarily in charge of coordinating and managing the Post for Safeguarding Women’s Rights to encourage uniformity in its administration. Third, the Post is responsible for advertising and public education regarding issues affecting women and children, as well as providing legal services for women and children in need of assistance. Fourth, it is responsible for filling its staff with trained personnel. The Women’s Federation holds courses every year to enhance the quality of work the Post’s staff produces. Fifth, the Post has several criticism and reward systems in place. Annually, the Women’s Federation chooses ten outstanding Posts according to the merit of the staff’s work.
Underpinning these Posts is a commitment to accountability: in each Post, according to work regulations and staff duties, the recipient of a question must bear the full responsibility for answering it. Each Post for Safeguarding Women’s Rights is also committed to joint conferences and meetings to ensure that its network of offices remains viable: when encountering a difficult, complicated case, each Post is required to coordinate with the relevant departments to expedite the closing of the case in a timely manner. Using computer networking, each Post also maintains fully standardized files.
By combining resources across departments and offices, these Posts, backed by the Women’s Federation, have had a widespread effect on protecting women and child rights protections. As agents responsible for the promulgation of information on new laws and provisions, the Posts hand out material instructing the public in legal matters. They also provide lectures on protecting the legitimate rights of vulnerable members of society, and in practice, the Posts offer legal aid to women and children in need.
Through the establishment of these interdepartmental Posts to regularize management and share information related to gender issues and regulations, complex women’s rights cases have been accelerated through the legal system to reach a speedy and satisfying conclusion.
Currently, these Posts are expanding their education mandate to include the school-age population: children of rural-to-urban migrant families in two schools can now receive instruction in the legal system. Four employees from these Posts for Safeguarding Women’s Rights have set up these courses with the mission of publicizing the specific issues related to internal migrancy and children in China. The Daxing District Women’s Federation project of Community Support for Floating Children has also received aid from UNESCO and from the State Council Women and Children Working Committee.