China: Bing Zheng

Let us all make concerted efforts regardless of past enmities. We must unite amidst competition and seek development amidst association. How wonderful if all Chinese women can unite together!

— Bing Zheng

Zheng Bing has been engaged in technical training for peasants, and the establishment of a women’s association and a peasants’ association. She encourages peasants to improve their cultural life and living standards, learn about state policies and regulations and new concepts of rural reconstruction.

Zheng Bing (38) started a peasants’ association that gave technical training aimed at both enhancing production and studying state policies and regulations. She created many new concepts in rural reconstruction to improve the lives of peasants in Zhaizi Village, Yongji City, Shanxi Province. In 1997 she invited experts from Xi’an to give lectures on agricultural science for peasants. She persuaded one woman in each village to come, and then asked them to persuade another five women they knew. In 1998, despite her family’s objection, she resigned her teaching post and set up a women’s federation, organizing women to sing and dance, have various competitions and learn new activities. She subscribed to Rural Women magazine for women to practice Putonghua, one of the eight major dialect groups of China, and organized debates on topics such as whether it was better to have a son or a daughter, to be a housewife or to develop your potential. Later the association expanded to 35 villages with a membership exceeding 3000, with five divisions, namely, cattle rearing, fish farming, reed division, women’s division, and the sci-tech service chain center. In 2004 the state issued the No. 1 Document relating to agricultural policies. Zheng arranged for peasants to study the document every week so as to enhance their knowledge of state policies and come up with creative concepts. In April 2004, she organized women for handicraft production. In October she organized 82 families to set up a shareholding company to promote projects for environmental protection in the village. For two years the village committee elected her the head of the village, but she refused. She thought it would take up too much of the time she spent running the peasants' association. She says: “In my childhood, my parents taught me to exert all efforts for whatever things I do.”

Zaizi Village Peasants' Association