Chinese women were told at the opening of the 11th National Women's Congress on Monday to "hold up half the sky" in "the great practice of developing socialism with Chinese characteristics."
Wang Qishan, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks at the event in the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.
Late Chinese leader Mao Zedong famously encouraged women to "hold up half the sky" in socialist construction, referring to gender equality.
Hundreds of millions of Chinese women have "consciously integrated individual ideals and pursuits into the cause of the Party and the country" under the CPC leadership, since reform and opening up began three decades ago, Wang said.
They have contributed their wisdom and power in the promotion of scientific development and social harmony, he said, expressing hope that women can strengthen socialist convictions and patriotism, and strive to be confident, independent and self-improving.
They are also expected to make new achievements and contributions to promote harmony in families and society by carrying forward the fine traditions of respecting the elderly, loving the young, being frugal and properly bringing up children, according to Wang.
All levels of women's federations should serve women well and safeguard women's and children's rights and interests, the senior official said.
Women in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan or living abroad should uphold patriotism and contribute to Chinese development so as to "share the motherland's dignity and glory," he added.
President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other senior leaders including Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan and Zhang Gaoli attended the opening of the congress with more than 1,400 women delegates and 100 specially invited delegates.
Held every five years, the congress will hear and discuss a work report by the 10th Executive Committee of the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), deliberate on and adopt amendments to the federation's constitution, and elect the 11th ACWF Executive Committee before it closes on Thursday.