Wednesday, January 2, 2008

LA times: "A Voice for Rural Women of China."

Fervent activist and magazine editor Xie Lihua aims to convince maltreated wives and daughters that they are men's equals.

Xie is the founder of the groundbreaking Rural Women magazine, a crucial emotional outlet for generations of peasant women. Each issue includes a lengthy series of readers' letters, a sort of chat room for far-flung villagers too poor to own computers.

Although urban women have made strides toward equality, thanks to better education and opportunities within a growing white-collar workforce, rural women are often stuck in a harsh lifestyle unchanged from an earlier era.

"I tell them their life is the equal of any man. They were not born unequal -- society made them this way," Xie said. "They just need opportunities to obtain their rights."