The following is a speech by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Dr E K Yeoh, at the fund-raising film show organised by the Hong Kong Women Development Association today (May 7):
Madam Yip, Ladies & Gentlemen
I am delighted to attend this fund-raising film show organised by the Hong Kong Women Development Association today. It gives me an opportunity to share with you our new initiative to promote the well-being and interests of women. In close partnership with you and the community, I hope to make this blueprint a great success in the new millennium.
Nobody would dispute the important role played by women in our society today. Women's participation in the political arena and community affairs is impressive.
The enactment of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance and the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance and the establishment of the Equal Opportunities Commission were important milestones in eliminating discrimination against women. Apart from these, the Government has also been striving to address women's needs and concerns through legislative and administrative means in various policy areas.
I am sure that all of us here welcome the announcement by the Chief Secretary for Administration yesterday on the establishment of a Women's Commission. The Commission will develop a longer-term vision and improved strategy to deal with women issues, identify priority areas for action, advise on policies and initiatives and their impact on women, and to ensure that women's perspective is factored in during the formulation of policies. The Commission will promote improved co-operation and co-ordination in the delivery of women services and will serve as a focal point to address women's concerns on current service provision and facilitate more effective delivery. The Commission will maintain close liaison with local women's groups and service agencies and will provide a formal and high level forum for them to communicate directly with the Government. The Commission will promote public awareness on women's issues.
Support from the community is essential for this blueprint to become a success. This is where your Association and others can help. With knowledge and experience, you can provide us with valuable advice on how to promote the development and advancement of women. With your connection and network, you can also assist us in enhancing public awareness and encouraging women's participation.
I look forward to fostering an effective and strong partnership with local women groups and the community in mapping out our vision, goals and strategies for promoting the well-being and interests of women. Finally, I would like to congratulate you for organising this event and wish you all the best in all your future endeavours. Thank you.
End/Sunday, May 7, 2000