Beijing Women Organizing for Change

A New Wave of the Chinese Women's Movement

by Cecilia Nathansen Milwertz

189 pp., illustrated
NIAS Reports # 40
Available from NIAS Press worldwide

Paperback - 2002, Available
ISBN 978 87 87062 72 5, £14.99

Independent and quasi-independent organizing in China really began earliest in the women’s community but the importance of this 15-year experience has not been documented adequately. The book first introduces the emergence since the mid-1980s of new types of women’s organization in China from the earlier situation of the All-China Women’s Federation ‘monopoly’. It then focuses on selected organizations and networks (such as the Women’s Research Institute and the Jinglun Family Centre) and for the first time provides detailed descriptions of their history, organizational structure and work.

The book concludes by discussing these organizations’ representation of gender interests and the role they play in the establishment of civil society. The stories to be told in this study – profoundly moving stories of commitment, frustration and creativity – have implications for civil society theory. They will also provide a wonderfully grounding empirical study for those in the woman’s movement who have sometimes strayed far from the practical results to which theories are supposed to lead.

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