For 11-year-old Xie Yuyue in Rongshui, Guangxi Province, the lack of food is a serious matter. Even if her grades are good, scoring 100 percent on a test paper can’t be turned into a meal.
But luckily, the launch of the “Spring Bud Project” meant that she was able to receive sponsorship, along with girls in similar situations from all over China, to study in middle schools in Beijing, enabling them to avoid the common pattern of “dropping out of school, getting married, and having children”.
After graduating from the Capital Normal University, Xie returned to her hometown for work. In addition to becoming a member of the Party committee of Yuchai Group, where she works, she also organized and participated in the company’s donation events for the “Spring Bud Project”.
Xie’s story is not an isolated case, but is instead representative of thousands of girls sponsored by such charity programs. Once a recipient of help, she has also gained the ability to help others as time has gone by, realizing a transformation of her individual identity and turning herself into a help giver.
Indeed, women in philanthropy are both recipients and providers.
As recipients, for those in need, they not only need food, shelter and medical support, but also require menstrual supplies every month: sanitary pads, tampons, and even painkillers, warm pads, etc. Here in China, companies such as Kao Corporation have already offered to help, and some local universities and companies have also set up self-service boxes for sanitary napkins.
At the same time, women’s education funding programs, such as the Spring Bud Project, have also been well known in China’s philanthropic sector for a long time. The scope of funding includes but is not limited to tuition fees, living expenses during school years, development of extracurricular interests, sex education and the promotion of hygiene and mental health information.
Women who enter the workplace may need to turn to relevant non-profit law firms for legal assistance when they are subjected to discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault. Some companies have set up complaint channels and sent dedicated personnel to follow up and supervise.
Another important area of focus for charity work is to help women who are victims of domestic violence — they may need legal support, medical assistance, counseling and other services.
As help givers, women in philanthropy can provide:
Participation in public affairs and social service work
Women have actively participated in public affairs and social services, and have made great contributions at critical moments, for example, thousands of female medical staff volunteered to provide medical aid when Covid broke out in China. With women’s gradual deepening of participation in public welfare and charity causes, women can grow a sense of social responsibility and are more likely to participate in the continuous progress of social services work.
Female perspective and voices
Women, as a marginalized group themselves, have a unique perspective that can help shed more light on other marginalized groups in the field of philanthropy, and thus guide the distribution of charity resources more reasonably and make contributions to the overall improvement of society. The fact that their voices are included more in the media and other social platforms can help improve gender equality and development.
Female role models
Women working in charity organizations and carrying out charity activities can improve their general influence and credibility in the sector and across society as a whole. The growing number of female role models is likely to drive more women to participate in charity work, leading to even more women role models. The growing visibility of women working in the sector will possibly bring more attention to various gender issues and promote the establishment of a gender equality social environment as a result.