Civil Society Developments in 2011: A look back at some of the most significant developments in China’s civil society, including the end of the term “civil society”.
“Migrant worker” eliminated from official documents: The use of “migrant worker” or nong ming gong is being removed by many local governments in an effort to reduce discrimination against transient laborers. “New-type contract worker" or xin xing he tong gong ren will replace the term.
Shortage in elderly care workers: People’s Daily reports on China’s severe shortage caretakers as the number of elderly people continues to rise. Young migrant workers, rather new-type contract workers, don’t want the jobs.
Weibo proves good fundraising venue: Giving campaigns on Weibo, China’s Twitter, show that large numbers of people are willing to give donations to grassroots requests. One request for clothing was forwarded over 100,000 times. Strangely some people sent dirty clothes, but it’s a strange world and overall this trend is a positive one.
China’s new poverty line: In December, China raised its rural poverty line to RMB 2300 (360 USD), a 92 percent increase from 2009. The new standard adds 100 million people to the 26.9 million who were already deemed impoverished. President Hu Jintao said, "By 2020, our general target is to ensure the nation's impoverished will no longer need to worry about food and clothing. Their access to compulsory education, basic medical care and housing will also be ensured.” For more info see here, here and here.
Experts call for domestic violence law: Domestic violence remains a serious and seldom addressed issue in China with no concrete laws to protect women against abuse. Xinhua reports that experts are calling for legislation that would change this and bring more awareness to the issue, which affects an estimated 24.7 percent of Chinese women.
China’s paper sector to reduce energy consumption: Around 100 of China’s major paper producers signed a proposal to reduce energy use by 18 percent in the next five years. The China Paper Association says energy and resources have already dropped 18 percent in the past five years.
Gates partners with Chinese government: The Bill Gates & Melinda Gates foundation has formed a new partnership with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology aiming to alleviate poverty and hunger through health and agricultural advancements.
City life difficult for many migrant workers: A survey of 2500 young migrant workers found less than 6 percent were well adapted to city life. Over half of those polled said that city dweller’s most unacceptable behavior was looking down them migrant workers. The survey also found that marriages were strained by financial difficulties. Housing costs and paying for education in cities were the top marriage stressors.