China: Mingxia Chen

Let us take action for and strive towards gender equality in our country and for a better life.

— Mingxia Chen

Chen Mingxia is the Director of the Gender and Law Research Center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and the Board Chair of the Network Against Domestic Violence at the Chinese Law Society. She has helped many victims of violence, has run a pilot scheme on legal implementation, and works on training people to use law. She has evolved democratic management systems in NGOs working on human rights and domestic violence. Her work has been widely appreciated.

Human rights and domestic violence were sensitive issues in China at the time Chen Mingxia (64) started to research these two areas. She has since helped many victims of violence and evolved democratic management systems for NGOs. Chen began researching civil law in 1964, focusing on the human rights of women in 1990. In 1993, under her leadership, a pilot scheme on the implementation of women’s law was conducted in Qianxi County, Hebei Province. The scheme gave impetus to work for women in the county; judges, lawyers and the staff of women’s federations were given comprehensive training and women’s centers were established in villages. Experiences in Qianxi County were shared with the whole of Hebei Province in 1996. Chen’s pilot scheme was awarded a Government Innovative Prize. The Local Law on Domestic Violence in Hebei Province was then formulated. The project of protecting women’s rights was unique and was subsequently extended to protect human rights as well. In 1998 feminists in Beijing got together to form an NGO to stop violence against women. Chen had influence in the field of law and substantial experience in implementation of women’s rights law. She took up the job of chief project coordinator to lead and coordinate the simultaneous implementation of more than ten projects. Her work was rewarded by the achievement of public awareness, judicial intervention and social support. A patient of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, and devoted to research on women’s rights, Chin was unable to take good care of her sick husband.

Gender and Law Research Center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences