Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

Let’s Embrace Beauty and Peace

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Let’s Embrace Beauty and Peace

Yesterday was International Women’s Day, a festival China and Afghanistan share. We hold a photo exhibition for renowned Afghan photographer Fatima in these days. This is the first time for the Chinese Embassy to undertake a solo exhibition for an Afghan artist.
Miss Fatima is a member of the Afghanistan Photographers Association. Her works have been on exhibition at art festivals of many countries. She has selected over twenty master works, some of which are on exhibition for the first time. There are stories behind every work which are unique and touching. These pictures reflect the evolution and diversity of the Afghan society and expresses the senses of beauty and true feelings of Afghan women. They offer a vivid testimony to a famous saying of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the great Chinese revolutionary pioneer: Should this world be without women, it would lose the true by 50%, the good by 70% and the beautiful by 100%. How accurate the praise is for women and for the true, the good and the beautiful!
In both the Chinese and Dari Languages there is a saying: zan nimi az peykare jaame ast. There are nearly 680 million women in China. At the second Session of the 13th National People Congress now going on in Beijing, there are 742 women deputies, accounting for 24.9% of the total, 1.5 percentage points higher than the previous session. In China, 70% of all women participate in the labor force and they account for 44% of the total employment. Women account for 52.5% of all college students. Now there are nearly 20 lady ambassadors and quite a number of lady ministers and generals. Among the hundred outstanding contributors to reform and opening-up honored by the Chinese government, there are 11 women.
You might find another figure interesting: an authoritative survey recently revealed that woman’s income was more than half the household income in big cities in China last year. While gasping in admiration, men do feel much pressure. If you ask why the Chinese society is so peaceful and harmonious, the figure may offer an important clue.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to gender equality and guarantees to promote women’s rights and interests. The Chinese Constitution clearly states: “Women in the People’s Republic of China enjoy equal rights with men in all spheres of life, in political, economic, cultural, social and family life.” “The state protects the rights and interests of women, applies the principle of equal pay for equal work to men and women alike and trains and selects cadres from among women.” China has also promulgated and amended the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women. In the Government Work Report delivered by H.E. Premier Li Keqiang on 5th March, he specifically proposed to “strengthen maternal and child health care services” and “protect the legitimate rights and interests of women, children, the elderly and the disabled.”
China and Afghanistan enjoy a strategic cooperation partnership of which the cooperation and exchanges between women of our countries is necessity. In the effort by China and the Chinese Embassy to support Afghan peace and reconstruction, we naturally prioritize development of woman’s undertakings here. In the past two years, China has invited 190 professional women for training in China, donated a girls’ primary school for girls in Mazar-e-Sharif, brought Kabul Woman’s Martial Arts Team to China and successfully treated 25 Afghan girls with congenital heart disease. The “Chinese Hospital” in Kandahar, Kabul Republic Hospital, Kabul University, low-cost housing and National Vocational Training Center, all built with Chinese assistance, and text books and training aids delivered to schools with Chinese funds have benefited and will continue benefiting thousands of Afghan women.
Here in Afghanistan, there are many Chinese women as excellent as their male colleagues. Away from families, they make heroic efforts to serve grassroots Afghans, in particular their Afghan sisters. Madame Meng Xiaoli, chairwoman of the Afghanistan Chinese Enterprises Union has made charitable contributions to the Aludeen Orphanage for girls in Kabul. She said “children represent the future of a country. Girls in orphanages are a vulnerable group in dire need of help. We must care for them as we care for our own children.” The dine of Orphanage and girls appreciate her benevolence and said this is what they need for most.
Last year a story went viral in Chinese social networks. Young mother Jahantab Ahmadi, with baby in her arms, spent two hours trekking mountain trails and nine hours on bumpy vehicles to get to her site of college entrance examination. She sat on the ground with baby crying in her arms to complete the exams while pacifying the baby. Many Chinese were deeply touched, for we believe that anyone with a dream and fight for it is the strongest in the world, regardless of gender or position.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Afghan independence. The biggest dream for the Afghan people is peace and reconciliation. Afghan women, who have suffered the most in the war and conflict, are the most ardent supports, defenders and builders of peace. Your desire for peace must be respected. Your dream for peace will for sure come true. In this process, China stand together with Afghanistan in a community of shared future. China will always stand by the heroic Afghan brothers and sisters, who have persevered enormous hardships, men and women alike, and together fight for more peaceful, harmonious and beautiful world.

Liu Jinsong is the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Afghanistan

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