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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Women and civil society : the case of Chinese women organizing in the reform era (1978-2003) Hung, Belinda

Abstract

In searching for evidence of civil society in contemporary China, scholars have used empirical data or case studies on social organizations during the reform era to assess whether there is indeed the emergence and development of civil society in China. However, there is a lack of literature on the importance of Chinese women organizing and the future of civil society in China despite the recent surge in number and diversity of women organizing and women's organizations in the reform era. This thesis explores the complex issues surrounding the current debate on the future of civil society in China from the perspective of Chinese women organizing in the reform era from 1978-2003. Through in-depth studies on the All-China Women's Federation, the Shaanxi Association for Women and Family, the Maple Women's Psychological Counseling Center, the Rural Women Magazine and the Network Against Domestic Violence, this thesis analyzes the legal, leadership and international influence, three of the major factors that facilitate or inhibit the growth and development of women's organizations in China and recommend strategies and policies that will help strengthen the growth and development of women organizing and women's organizations and therefore the development of civil society in China.

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