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Chief Executive Carrie Lam said yesterday that the female representation in the civil service has increased from 32% to 38% since 1997. Among 19 permanent secretaries in Hong Kong — the highest rank in the civil service, thirteen of them are female. 

The percentage of female members serving on the several hundred advisory and statutory bodies set up by the government is now close to 30%. 

“Women are taking up critical positions in the government. Thirteen of our 19 permanent secretaries – the highest rank in the civil service – are women. The percentage of female members serving on the several hundred advisory and statutory bodies set up by the government is now close to 30%. These figures speak of the pivotal role played by women in Hong Kong's public affairs,'' Lam said. 

As the first female chief executive in Hong Kong, Lam said she has the responsibility to push the women's agenda forward in Hong Kong. 

She added that in recent years, the university acceptance rate for women has increased but still hasn't caught up with other cities in the region.

"Since 1996, the percentage of female students in universities has exceeded that of male students, giving Hong Kong a high-quality female labour force. In fact, since 1996, Hong Kong's labour force has increased by some 1.4 million - 1 million of them women. Our female labour force participation rate, however, is still only 51%, relatively low compared with other cities in the region," she said.

Additionally, with the government setting the benchmark of implementing a series of family-friendly policies such as an extension of statutory maternity leave and paternity leave, many private enterprises have followed suit and introduced various family-friendly measures. 

Photo/ BBC