Following is a speech by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Dr E K Yeoh, in addressing the Inauguration Ceremony of the Kowloon Women's Organizations Federation today (May 20):-
Ms Leung, Ms Chan, Ms Ko, distinguished guests
I am very pleased to be invited by the Kowloon Women's Organizations Federation to officiate at this Inauguration Ceremony.
I understand that the Federation aims to encourage women's participation in community affairs and to promote the interests and welfare of women, children and the elderly. Women's groups have always played a significant role in promoting the interests and welfare of women, and have been instrumental in providing many services for women and in providing advice to the Government on women's issues. Such advice enhances our understanding of women's needs and concerns and is particularly valuable in helping us formulate strategies and initiatives.
The Government attaches great importance to addressing women's needs and concerns through a variety of legislative and administrative means. For example, the Sex Discrimination and the Family Status Discrimination Ordinances and the Equal Opportunities Commission.
To further promote the well-being and interests of women, the Chief Secretary for Administration recently announced the establishment of a Women's Commission to address women's needs in a comprehensive and systematic manner, to promote the full development and advancement of women and to ensure that women's perspectives are factored in during the formulation of policies.
But the Government's efforts alone are not sufficient to sustain the momentum to promote the interests of women. Community awareness on women's issues needs to be enhanced and concrete action taken to remove deep-rooted gender stereotyping. We need your support to achieve these ends. The establishment of the Women's Commission is not only a positive response to the views of women's groups and the community, but will also serve as a formal and regular channel for groups to voice their opinions to the Government. I look forward to working with you in the future.
End/Saturday, May 20, 2000