China: Jun Liang

There are many levels of 'peace': harmony in one’s heart, between individuals and society. We work in a peaceful way, so that harmony and the development of society can be realized.

— Jun Liang

One of the founders of the Women’s Academy and Women’s Museum in Henan Province, Liang Jun (60) is currently working with women’s groups that provide training in women’s development. In 1998 she established the Henan Community Education Research Center, which is dedicated to the construction of grassroots community organizations. The center also focuses on research into women’s cooperation and development, peasant literature and art, and mutual aid among abused women in rural and urban areas.

In 1985 Liang Jun became a teacher at the Henan Women's Cadre School. The experience in research and training that she acquired here was put to good use in her extensive travels in subsequent years when she worked as a trainer in women’s development. Contact with people from different communities taught her a great deal. She went on to found a women’s academy in Henan Province, as well as the first women’s museum in China, for which she also collected oral histories. Despite many difficulties, she continued to work for the development of grassroots organizations. In 1998 Liang Jun set up the Henan Community Education Research Center. Inspired by a “Gender and Participatory Development” seminar held by the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief (Oxfam), she started to assist grassroots peasant women to self-organize. She helped Wang Xia, a peasant woman from the Dengfeng mountain area of Henan, to establish a peasants' cultural group, named Rosy Clouds Culture and Art Performance Group, which popularized new ideas and new concepts using various cultural and artistic methods. She organized the Dengfeng Women’s Traditional Arts & Crafts Cooperation Group and groups of abused women from urban and rural areas. She also looked at integrated methods for communities to intervene in domestic violence situations. In recent years she has worked with HIV carriers to establish the Red Ribbon Association whose motto is “self-rescue, self-help, mutual-help, help-others.” She believes that it is peasant women who have given her wisdom and strength. It is they who promote the harmony and development of human beings and of society.

Henan Community Education Research Center