China’s 12th National Women’s Congress opens in Beijing. Greetings from the SCO Secretary-General

Over 1,800 delegates are attending the 12th National Women's Congress organised by the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), which opened in Beijing on 30 October 2018.

"Your congress has convened ahead of a historic event for Chinese society, the 40th anniversary of the policy of reforms and openness, which has not only changed China and ensured its peaceful rise but also had a huge effect on global development," SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov wrote in his message to congress participants and guests. "Chinese women have greatly contributed to the implementation of national tasks and the attainment of socioeconomic goals, such as gender equality and broader rights and opportunities for women," the message says.

"China's constructive policy and broad access to education and careers for women in China have encouraged their active involvement in state governance and business management and offered them new opportunities for personal growth and for positive change in society," the SCO Secretary-General wrote.

Speaking about women's contribution to peace, security and the sustainable development of the SCO countries, Rashid Alimov praised the outcome of the SCO Women's Forum held in Beijing in May 2018. He stressed that the combined population of the SCO countries makes up over 40 percent of the world's total, and women constitute more than half of the population. The SCO Secretary-General wished success to the women's congress ongoing in Beijing and expressed confidence in the successful implementation of the Beijing Declaration, which comprises a strategy for developing a policy that will benefit women around the world.

The National Women's Congress is the supreme body of the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF). It is held once in five years. The 12th congress will conclude its work on 2 November 2018. The SCO Secretariat is closely cooperating with the ACWF. The first SCO Women's Forum was held in Beijing on 16-17 May 2018.