China, U.S. launch women exchange program

WASHINGTON, April 12 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday announced the launch of the China-U.S. Women's Leadership Exchange and Dialogue (Women-LEAD), as part of the efforts to boost people-to-people exchange between the two countries.

Through Women-LEAD, the two countries will seek to increase dialogue between high-level Chinese and American women leaders and expand exchanges between organizations, think tanks and universities on gender equality,officials said.

The initiative was launched as China and the United States concluded their second annual high-level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE). Both Liu and Clinton hailed the importance of people-to-people engagement when they co-chaired the meeting at the State Department.

Key goals of Women-LEAD are to promote the sharing of knowledge and expertise on developing women's leadership across all sectors -- including entrepreneurship, science and technology -- and provide support for capacity-building programs for emerging women leaders.

Facilitating public-private partnerships for women's empowerment programs will be a key element for achieving the objectives, said a press release issued by the U.S. State Department after the CPE meeting.

A number of "cross-cutting collaborations" will be pursued under the Women-LEAD banner which include a Chinese delegation of senior-level women leaders to the United States for a high-level dialogue with their American counterparts either in late 2011 or in 2012, and a U.S. delegation of senior-level women leaders to the International Forum for Women and Sustainable Development in China hosted by the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) in November 2011, the press release said.

In addition, the two countries will collaborate to build the capacity of women entrepreneurs with the support of corporate leaders in both countries, Yale University will work with the ACWF and other relevant Chinese agencies to organize management and leadership programs targeted at senior-level women leaders, and China will explore partnerships with U.S. organizations to raise awareness of breast cancer in China.

Women-LEAD will be jointly led by the Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues and the ACWF.

China and the United States launched CPE in May 2010 in Beijing to enhance and strengthen ties between their citizens in the areas of women's issues, education, culture, sports, and science and technology, and the first CPE meeting was held on the occasion.


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