Developing Livelihoods for Vulnerable Women in China

©Alexia Houel

Context

According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2018, China ranks 103rd out of 149 economies worldwide in terms of its gender gap. Rapid growth and changes in Chinese society have posed additional challenges to economic conditions, learning opportunities, political participation, the health and well-being of women in society, and early childhood care and education, especially in rural areas. In China, the gender inequality rate in rural areas is almost twice as high as in urban areas. Care for pregnant women is limited to nutrition and other aspects of their condition, but neglects mental health, social health and other factors. China has witnessed rapid economic growth in recent years, driven by the digital technology, urbanisation and rapid population movements. However, this growth has made it difficult for rural women with little schooling to adapt to the development of this newly evolving society and created a demand for non-formal education. The Global Women’s Gender Gap Report 2020 stated that “support for gender equality is essential to build a strong, cohesive and resilient society”.

Project objective

Promote public awareness and advocate for a mother and baby-friendly environment through training and health care management (online and offline), public campaigns and research to build social support networks for women and better economic opportunities; Promote women’s livelihoods by supporting new mothers and local communities; Enhance women’s livelihood skills by providing vocational training courses; Improve women’s and public awareness of maternity and child health management; Provide psycho-social support to women during motherhood and after birth; Advocate for the development of a mother and baby-friendly environment.

Parterns

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Project location / China - Sichuan province
Region / China, Southeast Asia and China
Area / Early childhood education, Health education, Lifelong and Livelihood Education, Vocational training
Duration / 2017 - 2020
The project covers / In 2019, 2,341 people (including 73% women) benefited directly from our project to increase women’s livelihood skills (vocational training courses). In addition, we worked to improve women’s and public awareness of the importance of managing maternal and child health through a series of campaigns; 2 WeChat online groups were created for over 120 pregnant women in Chengdu City to expand their social support network and provide them with a combination of offline support group activities and online training (health education, such as prenatal nutrition and prevention of childhood diseases). We focused on building the capacity of vulnerable rural women and were pleased to cooperate with other NGOs to replicate the project model.
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