Lihua, ed. Zhongguo nongcun funü
qinggan zishu (Rural Chinese Women Reporting on their
This publication compiles letters which rural women from all over China but mainly from the inland provinces, over a time of two years wrote to the magazine Nongjianü baishitong (Rural Women Knowing All) narrating their life experiences. The publication never explains which guidelines or themes were suggested for the letters but only mentions that women wrote for different reasons such as taking the opportunity to express long-repressed feelings or hoping to find a solution for a difficult problem.
In the eyes of the deputy editor, Song Meiya, who wrote the foreword this collection is situated at the interface between women’s problems und rural problems. She claims that its particular value lies in it being a first-hand report reflecting voices that are hardly ever heard. By publishing this collection the chief editor and the Rural Women Knowing All magazine respectively want to allow more people to gain a deeper understanding of the circumstances surrounding rural life for women to win the readers support and sympathy for these women.
The journal Nongjianü baishitong is
published monthly under the auspices of Zhonguo
funübao (Chinese Women’s News) and the
All-China Women’s Federation. Since
its initiation in 1993 Nongjianü baishitong
has shown great concern for
rural women, with nearly every issue of the journal running letters and
articles devoted to a range of aspects of their lives. The
office also launches a variety of projects to support rural women for
receives financial help from outside organizations in
The book is divided
into two parts – the first one about the difficulties and
problems in women’s
lives related to women’s growing up, marriage and divorce;
the second one about
ways women tried to exert themselves to make their lives more positive.
Altogether the book contains nine chapters; each chapter contains about
different letters and starts with a short introduction written by the
On the whole, this easy-to-read collection constitutes a useful source of information for scholars who do research on rural women and wish to complement it with voices of those women themselves.