Inderscience Publishers

Women migrant workers in China: grassroots NGOs facilitating empowerment?

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This paper discusses the current situation facing rural female migrant workers in urban China. It is the contention of the author that grassroots NGOs show very real promise as one source of support for such women. These workers, in spite of their immeasurable contribution to the country's economic growth, and their work which furnishes foreign consumers with cheap commodities, remain consistently low-paid, over-worked, marginalised and undervalued. The topic is dealt with in three sections: firstly an overview of the conditions that have prompted a rapid and sustained influx of migrants from rural to urban China during the last three decades; a summary of problems which many migrant women face; the final section will highlight the value of the burgeoning vitality of 'grassroots' NGOs in asking what can be done to support migrant women and to facilitate their empowerment. In the concluding remarks, the author will suggest areas which deserve attention in order to cultivate and harness the potential for NGOs to best work with and serve these women.

Keywords: internal migration, migrant women, urban China, migrant workers, NGOs, female migrants, non-governmental organisations, rural workers, empowerment

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