China: Lihua Xie

I hope for the day when the whole nation will be mobilized to support the survival and development of rural women and they will no longer be on the margins.”

— Lihua Xie

Xie Lihua was born in 1951 in Chanyi County, Shandong Province. She served in the military in 1969. In 1985 she became editor and reporter for China Women’s Daily, and eight years later she took over as deputy editor-in-chief. She also founded China’s first magazine for rural women. Over the years she has encouraged rural women to write for the magazine and participate in the work of putting it together. She also conducts courses for literacy, micro finance and reproductive health.

In 1993 Xie Lihua founded China’s first magazine for rural women, Rural Women Know All. At the same time she developed a series of programs serving rural women that included literacy courses, micro financing and reproductive health. In the twelve years since she founded the magazine, she has encouraged rural women to participate in various aspects of its production. They have been trained to become correspondents, making the magazine one that is truly for rural women and by rural women. They are also centrally involved in the development and implementation of community projects. Because the purpose of Xie’s work is to serve rural women, she relates to them as if they were family. No matter what questions or problems they bring up, Xie responds with compassion and patience, and does her best to help them reach a solution. Therefore, rural women do not see Xie as a “city person,” but as a family member. Xie may have wavered at times during the past ten years, but she has persisted. “In my adulthood, I have become one of Beijing’s residents, but the moment I set foot on the soil of my hometown, hear the rich village sounds and taste the local food, I truly feel that my roots are still deep in the earth of the village.” Her work has the support of many people, including Wu Qing, daughter of the famous writer Bing Xin and a delegate to the National People’s Congress.

China’s Women’s Federation China Women’s Daily Rural Women Know All magazine