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EWL participates at Women’s Symposium as part of the High Level People to People Dialogue (HPPD) in Shanghai, China

[Brussels, 11 December 2017] On the invitation of the All-China Women’s Federation, Annelies Pierrot Bults, EWL Executive member, Ludovica Bottarelli, Board member from Italy and Mary Collins, EWL Secretariat, attended the Second China-EU Symposium on Gender Equality under HPPD in Shanghai on 14-15 November 2017.

Boosting Employment and Entrepreneurship of Young Women and Work Life Balance were the two themes around which Chinese experts and the EWL discussed similarities on both sides with regards to the barriers that women face in accessing finance, juggling family and professional responsibilities, deep seated stereotypes on the roles and expectations of women and shifting cultural mind sets to engage men in caring responsibilities.

Welcome to the EWL in China

As part of the mission, the EWL delegation visited a number of Shanghai based initiatives providing support to women and young people to boost their digital skills and start-ups to equip them in a rapidly changing Chinese society. Lifting millions of women and men out of poverty, particularly in rural areas, remains a priority in China and these initiatives are part of that global vision. Support services for women professionals, including support networks and relaxation groups are provided free to women in different districts of Shanghai. These certainly provided inspiration for potential exchange programmes, including in the framework of Erasmus + regarding digital skills, between women and youth organisations in the EU and China.

The EU-China High Level People-to-People Dialogue (HPPD) started in 2012 to provide regular policy dialogues at government level. The HPPD has three pillars: High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue, High Level Strategic Dialogue and People-to-People Dialogue. Gender equality became a structural part of the latter in 2015, when the EWL held a seminar with the All-China Women’s Federation in Brussels.

As the head of the EWL delegation, Annelies Pierrot Bults, stressed the common agenda that women have all over the world, as gender equality is essential to the functioning of societies. Not one single country in the world has achieved gender equality. Read her keynote speech.

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