Hubei Eyes Millions of Left-behind Women in Rural Areas

January 23, 2013
Editor: Wu Linfei

A survey on the present situation of left-behind women in rural areas of central China's Hubei Province shows the number has reached 2.368 million, according to a report presented by the Hubei Women's Federation to the first session of the 11th Hubei Provincial People's Political Consultative Conference in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province, on January 21, 2013. 

The report shows more than 60 percent of rural families were in the condition of the husbands going to cities for work and the wives being left behind in their hometowns.

Statistics show the number of farmers who went to cities for work was 9.668 million in 2011. There were 2.368 million left-behind women, accounting for 8.5 percent of the total female population, in Hubei Province.

Approximately 47.6 percent of the left-behind women were aged from 31 to 40, and 20.1 percent were aged from 20 to 30. When it comes to levels of education, 24.4 percent had a level below primary school, 58.7 percent the level of junior middle school, 15.1 percent had a level of high school or technical secondary school, and only 1.8 percent had a level above junior college.

Approximately 47.6 percent of the left-behind women are aged from 31 to 40, and 20.1 percent are aged from 20 to 30. When it comes to levels of education, 24.4 percent have a level below primary school, 58.7 percent the level of junior middle school, 15.1 percent have a level of high school or technical secondary school, and only 1.8 percent had a level above junior college. [cnhubei.com]

Approximately 47.6 percent of the left-behind women are aged from 31 to 40, and 20.1 percent are aged from 20 to 30. When it comes to levels of education, 24.4 percent have a level below primary school, 58.7 percent the level of junior middle school, 15.1 percent have a level of high school or technical secondary school, and only 1.8 percent had a level above junior college. [cnhubei.com]

Many problems exist among the left-behind women. They were more vulnerable to assaults and property violations. Statistics showed that 1.9 percent of the left-behind women had experienced robberies, 12.8 percent had been victimized by burglaries, 8.7 percent had been cheated, 10.8 percent had suffered from violence and verbal assault, and 6.9 percent had been harassed.

In addition, 41.1 percent of the left-behind women's husbands returned home once every six months, 15 percent went back home only once a year, and only 10.3 percent returned home more than three times a month.

Just over 30 percent of the left-behind women said they didn't have enough time or energy to give study guidance to their children while 57.8 percent said that they were unable to give any guidance in their children’s study.

Just over 96 percent of the left-behind women chose to stay in their hometowns because they were to give birth to or had to look after children.

Many left-behind women had to shoulder heavy burdens of both housework and farm work, 43 percent of them couldn't attend agriculture technology training, and 40.8 percent didn't participate in elections of village officials.

The Hubei Women's Federation thought the issue of the left-behind women should be solved in the ways that the whole family migrates to cities or returns to the hometown to start their own businesses, or that the population working in agriculture transfers to urban areas.

Vice President of the Hubei Women's Federation Wu Hongya said it was critical to promote the integrated development of urban and rural areas, provide support in education, employment, medical treatment, social security and housing for migrant workers, enable them to enjoy equal rights as citizens, solve the problems of their children's education, and encourage companies to build factories in towns and suburban areas.

(Source: cnhubei.com/Translated by womenofchina.cn)

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