China: Xiaoxia Zhu

(My goal is) " share happiness and woe with the common people and take their business as my own business.

— Xiaoxia Zhu

Zhu Xiaoxia has introduced scientific marital and family planning ideas into her work for women and children, and has tried to convince families that happiness does not only lie in having male children. She has appealed to the community to pay attention to the vulnerable sectors of the population and has called on local civil servants to help poor schoolchildren and Aids orphans by initiating various programs for them.

Zhu Xiaoxia is a civil servant on the Working Committee on Women and Children of Xihua County, Zhoukou, Henan Province in China. She has been doing grassroots work in poor areas for a long time. Zhu was appointed deputy head of Huaiyang County in Henan Province in 1997, and was responsible for family planning and sanitation. Her investigations revealed deep discrimination against girls and a prevalent belief that family well-being lay in having sons. She decided to set up a council to promote new thinking about marriage and birth in Huaiyang County, and made efforts to propagandize the importance of late marriage, late birth, birth health, and gender equality. In 2001 the county was rated one of the nationwide models in implementing new norms for marriage and birth. In June 2003 Zhu became head of the Organization Department and Standing Committee Member of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Xihua County Committee, in the hinterland of the usually flooded area of the Yellow River, where there are two provincially designated villages with a high incidence of Aids patients. Zhu has spent time learning about the situation of Aids orphans here and has worked with local civil servants to help poor schoolchildren and Aids orphans by initiating activities such as the Spring Buds Program and Aids Orphan Care Program. She has popularized knowledge about family planning and reproductive care and the importance of science and technology. She has also guided households in improving the quality of life by having fewer births. For example, she mobilized villagers to help collectively in the farm work of households without sons. Under her leadership the new ideas concerning marriage and birth spread quickly to 509 villages in over 20 townships in Huaiyang County.

Working Committee on Women and Children Communist Party of China (CPC), Xihua County Committee