Consultant to develop the Country Gender Equality Profile for China

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The United Nations Theme Group on Gender (UNTGG) in China, was established to coordinate the combined efforts of UN agencies in achieving national goals on gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE). As part of the internal coordination structure of the UN, UNTGG is designed to advise the direction of the UN system in China on gender-related issues.

The overall objective of UNTGG is to develop a shared approach towards the achievement of national gender equality goals and support monitoring progress towards their achievement. To accomplish this, UNTGG is tasked with identifying areas of concern regarding GEWE in China, facilitating a shared understanding of situations, challenges and priorities, and mainstreaming gender in the work of all UN agencies in China.

UNTGG has the responsibility to regularly produce and update a Country Gender Equality Profile (CGEP). The purpose of the CGEP is to strengthen national understandings and data on the advancement of international, regional and national commitments towards GEWE. It will also be a primary source for evidence-driven advocacy and programming for national stakeholders, international development partners and the UN System to advance the gains and overcome bottlenecks at the national, regional and global level.

UNTGG is hiring a consultant to conduct a gender assessment of China and produce a CGEP which will examine the most current gender-specific and sex-disaggregated data, based on the country’s priority development strategy. The CGEP will also include a review of national reports in response to their normative commitments (CEDAW (1979), Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), UPR, 2030 Agenda and SDGs (2015)). Additionally, the consultant will review national and UN-led efforts aimed at addressing GEWE issues and any assessments or evaluations undertaken of the outcomes of these efforts.

The key issues raised by the CGEP will be referenced for operations (project and programme design) by UN Women and other UN agencies in China. National partners and other organizations in China can reference the profile for their own operations in advancing GEWE in the country. UNTGG hopes to utilize the CGEP to assist in integrating and mainstreaming gender concerns in UN China’s Common Country Analysis (CCA) development and the UNSDCF formulation process, for maximum impact on GEWE in China.  

Country Context

China is the world’s most populous country with a population of 1.4 billion (48.5% women). Since the implementation of economic reform in 1979, China has quickly become one of the world’s largest and strongest economies.

China has seen significant progress in gender equality, due in large part to the efforts of the Chinese government. In September 1995, Beijing hosted the Fourth World Conference on Women, which produced the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Twenty years later, Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted the Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender and Women’s Empowerment in New York. At the meeting, President Xi pledged USD 10 million for the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the realization of the related goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In the Thirteenth Five-year Plan (2016-2020) China set the goal “to promote women’s development in all aspects of society”, which, for the first time, clearly mentioned women’s equal access to education, employment, property, etc., and the elimination of violence against women. 

Since the Global Leaders’ meeting in 2015, the Government of China has implemented its commitments to GEWE across various sectors. An Anti-Domestic Violence Law, drafted with technical support from UN Women and other UN agencies, went into effect in March 2016. 24 provinces and municipalities have established mechanisms to review gender equality in legal regulations and policies. The Women Entrepreneurship and Innovation Action was launched to help women start businesses in the emerging digital economy. Improved healthcare of women resulted in significant increases in cervical and breast cancer screenings in rural areas.

Despite remarkable achievement in poverty alleviation and extensive gains in development, the country still faces many economic and social challenges. Today, China is simultaneously straddling several development stages, including growing inequity, environmental challenges, climate and disaster risks, and an unprecedented societal shift characterized by a rapidly aging population and shrinking workforce, mass urbanization, and a mobile but structurally disadvantaged migrant population. There is also growing pressure to find the appropriate balance between domestic reforms while assuming an increasingly active role in global collaboration.

Despite many impressive achievements in gender equality, GEWE still faces many cultural and systemic challenges in China. A 2018 survey revealed that while the gender wage-gap in China has decreased it remains significant. Other gender-based economic challenges including employment discrimination are still prevalent. A 2016 report on climate change in China found that women are more vulnerable than men to the adverse impacts of climate change, which in turn exacerbates rural poverty. Additional areas of concern are a lack of available sex disaggregated economic data and the need to strengthen national machinery to effectively coordinate and promote gender mainstreaming throughout all levels of government.

Objectives

The objective of this consultancy is to undertake an overall gender assessment of China, culminating in the development of a CGEP. The consultant will work collaboratively with the CCA development consultant and lead economist in analyzing data and identifying GEWE issues in the country. Specifically, the key objectives are:

  • To undertake a review of existing gender analyses, country reports, and recently released gender disaggregated data.
  • The development of a country gender profile, which will start with identifying key gender inequalities that constrain inclusive growth and development, then assess existing policy and legal frameworks from a gender perspective to recommend key areas for strategic actions;
  • To examine the institutional and human resources capacity for advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women in China;
  • Provide concrete recommendations regarding existing gender gaps and inequalities and for accelerating the advancement of gender equality and the social and economic empowerment of women and their equal participation in decision-making; and
  • To identify key sector priorities within China’s national development plan including but not limited to manufacturing, services, technology, climate change and agriculture, employment, security and justice, governance, health and nutrition and human capital development.

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