China: Jiuhua Wu

Peace shall come only when everyone’s rights are protected.”

— Jiuhua Wu

Wu Jiuhua is chairperson of the Women’s Federation in Wangdu County, Hebei Province. She founded the “Help the Poor Children Fund” to help alleviate poverty among young girls. She has also established more than 30 training bases to train women to change their lives of poverty.

In 1999, when Wu Jiuhua was appointed head of Zhao Zhuang Village, the villages's wheat crops were threatened by the appearance of a new kind of worm. Wu’s investigations had revealed the problem and she was quickly able to help control the worm, thereby ensuring a good harvest. The villagers gratefully called Wu “the life-saving village head.” When Wu became the chairperson of the Women’s Federation in Wangdu County in 2002, she established “Help the Poor Children Fund” to enable poor young girls to finish their education. She convinced entrepreneurs and government officials to donate $240,000 to this fund. She has invited experts to give talks to women to improve their level of scientific knowledge and to help change their living standards. She liaised with specialists from the Department of Agriculture to carry out the activities under the “one helps two; one heads ten” program and organized 92 visits for women representatives to agricultural development centers, private enterprises and hi-tech institutes. She cooperated with related departments to organize more than 140 training courses on various techniques, to establish 30 women's bases, and to develop 18 technological advanced and prosperous villages. As a result, conditions improved for over 11,500 village women. She also set up liaison units and women’s re-employment centers in every village, which has contributed to the improvement of living standards of poor village women. She set up the “Women’s Rights Organization” to protect women’s rights, and organized activities such as “I contribute to protect women’s rights” and the “March 8th women’s rights week.” Besides offering training courses on legal knowledge, Wu also started a TV program that dealt with the legal problems faced by women in the process of protecting their rights.

Women’s Federation, Wandu County