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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Left-behind women keep homes running

By An Baijie and Xiang Mingchao (China Daily)

08:32, March 07, 2012

Zhang Mo, a left-behind woman, is an entrepreneur starting from scratch in Gushi county in Henan province. (Xiang Mingchao / China Daily)

As husbands seek better-paid urban jobs, wives tend to elderly, children

Zhang Fuxia, a "left-behind" village woman, has been able to contribute more to her family's earnings for the past two years since a factory opened in her hometown in Henan province.

Zhang, 45, whose husband has been a migrant worker for more than 20 years in Hefei, capital of neighboring Anhui province, shoulders the main family responsibilities on her own - taking care of her daughter and parents-in-law, who live with her in the village.

Women like Zhang, who stay at their rural homes while their husbands go to cities for better-paying jobs, are called left-behind women. They stay behind to take care of their children and parents, who would lose their rights to social security, education and medical insurance if they left their homes to live in the city.

Zhang's husband, Xiong Dehe, 48, can earn about 50,000 to 80,000 yuan ($7,930 to 12,700) a year working at construction for more than 10 hours a day seven days a week. That used to be the family's only income source.

For the past two years, Zhang's 23-year-old son, who is unmarried, has earned about 20,000 yuan annually as a factory worker in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong province.

The family found another source of income in 2009, when a company producing car seats opened in Zhang's hometown of Fangji township, Gushi county. Zhang earns about 1,500 yuan a month sewing the seats in a workshop just a 10-minute walk from her home.

"I felt fulfilled (bringing more income to the family)," Zhang told China Daily on Friday.

Zhang's family is united for less than one month a year. When traditional festivals like the Mid-Autumn Festival and Spring Festival approach, her husband makes the 200-kilometer trip home to spend time with them.

Zhang said she wanted to go to the city with her husband, but her responsibilities in the family were so important that she could not leave.

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Ming Chu (USA) at 2012-03-1075.210.210.*
I thought that after reading this article about left-behind women was excellent , very informative , telling about the husbands who must go to the modern big cities of China and their wives who must stay behind to take care of children , old parents , and homes . Now this is the kind of heart-wretched motion picture that will easily win the many Oscar awards . You already won Oscar award for best screen play with this article .

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