Microfinance Empowers Chinese Women
In early May, China’s main P2P microfinance organization Wokai announced that it will temporarily close its operations. This organization was solely directed at lending money to impoverished farmers in China. Fortunately, new poverty-alleviation efforts and microfinance projects continue to be developed in China.
One such effort is funded by UN Women, which now extends microfinance loans to women in rural China. According to Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore’s report for IPS News:
UN Women has invested 150,000 dollars and teamed up with the Shaanxi Women’s Federation at local and provincial levels, as well as the All-China Women’s Federation, to initiate the microcredit scheme, which has benefited 51 women in Fengxian county.
According to the report, a woman started her own pig-farm with the help of UN Women. The local Women’s Federation officials also appreciate and support this project:
Xue Jinting, president of the Women’s Federation of Fengxian County, Baoji City in Shaanxi province, believes that the project has raised women’s social status both at home and in their village communities.
Xue explains: “Women have benefited a lot. In the past, men left home to work in cities. Their wage was the only income for the family. Expenses – including buying crops, the children’s education, and living costs – were all covered by the men. Truth to be told, women couldn’t do anything without men’s financial support.
According to the article, the UN Women and Women’s Federation project also started 53 training sessions for women from rural areas, which focus on efficient and green agricultural techniques. Two thousand women have taken part in the training sessions.
With a similar emphasis on gender equality, microfinance organization Yinongdai continues to pursue the P2P model by tapping into domestic financial resources.