China :
Hualian Wang

“I feel energetic when we share the joys of working and playing together, such as packaging lily bulbs, attending literacy classes, singing songs and chatting with each other.”

— Hualian Wang

Wang Hualian (37) is from Jiangxi Province. Since 1994, she has organized rural women in alternative practices through the Luxia Wanli Women’s Mutual Aid Credit Union (Lwcu), the first all-woman credit union in China. One of the few women in the village who finished junior high school, Wang works on rural women’s education and health, organic farming, alternative trade and community building and represents the peasant community in various fora.

Wang Hualian initially planned to go to the city to work, but gave up the idea and stayed on in her village to work for Lwcu, the first all-woman credit union in China. “The members trust me a lot, and they have elected me several times to be the executive member of the managing committee. I cannot let them down and I cannot deny this responsibility.” Her husband and children fully support her decision. Wang enjoys popularity mainly because of her intelligence, competence and honesty. She is one of the few women in the village who finished junior high school. She learnt accounting through the work of Lwcu. Since 1994, Wang has devoted her efforts to Lwcu's collective projects on women’s education and health, organic farming, alternative trade and community development. For example, doing an organic lily bulb alternative trade, building a three-story activity center, running a kindergarten, conducting evening literacy and skill classes, and assisting the local health units to arrange gynecological checkups and treatment for the village women. Her contributions to rural society have resulted in Wang being elected as a peasant representative at different levels of various institutions. Since 2001, Wang has been the representative of Yichun District on the People’s Congress. She always speaks out about peasants’ problems. In her capacity as an Lwcu representative, Wang exchanges experiences with farmers of different countries such as India, Vietnam, Nepal and the Philippines. After various exposure trips, she has introduced alternative ideas of farmers from other countries to her village. This has generated discussions in the rural community on a developmental path that takes women and ecology into consideration.

Luxia Wanli Women’s Mutual Aid Credit Union (Lwcu)