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Speech by CE at Women's Commission International Women's Day 2016 reception (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at the Women's Commission International Women's Day 2016 reception this evening (March 8):

     May I now repeat in English the salient points I have just made for our non-Chinese speaking friends.

     Allow me, first of all, to thank the Women's Commission for inviting me to this reception. Today of course is the International Women's Day, a day dedicated specially to commemorate and celebrate women's achievements. On this very day it is most fitting for the Commission to organise this gathering.

     I fully support the mission of the Commission in enabling Hong Kong women to fully realise their due status, rights and opportunities in all aspects of life. Shortly after assuming office, I had the pleasure of meeting with various women groups to exchange views on issues of mutual concern, such as application of gender mainstreaming to policy formulation, and participation of women in public services.

     I am glad to report that much progress has been made since then. Starting from April last year, all policy bureaux and departments are required to apply gender mainstreaming when formulating major government policies and initiatives. We also aim to progressively increase the ratio for appointing women to government advisory and statutory bodies from 30 per cent to 35 per cent.

     We are seeking to better support working women by enhancing child care centre services, and promoting family-friendly employment practices. The Social Welfare Department is proactively identifying suitable premises for building new child care centres. We will also progressively increase the provision of extended hours service at child care centres and kindergarten-cum-child care centres.

     And one last point. Last February, the Legislative Council passed the new law on granting three days' paid paternity leave to employees, fulfilling the pledge in my election manifesto.

     In the coming years, I look forward to continue working closely with the Commission, women's groups and other organisations in promoting women development in Hong Kong. May I take this opportunity to wish all of you good health and abundant happiness.

     Thank you.

Ends/Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Issued at HKT 19:37


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