Women's Empowerment

Happy Mother, Happy Family
Reproductive health, women's empowerment and poverty alleviation are issues prioritized by ICPD 1994. At the grassroots level, especially in the mid- and north-west part of China, the reproductive rights and needs of people are not adequately addressed. As the largest NGO in family planning and reproductive health in China, CFPA is in a position to develop and demonstrate its role and influence at the national level in promoting reproductive health through public education and dissemination of experiences to the mid- and northwestern Chinese population.
Women's socio-economic status and reproductive health are intrinsically related. Women with little control over decisions in the family or community are less able to make their own reproductive choices or meet their health needs. It is fundamental that family planning and reproductive health programs deliberately and explicitly strive to empower women.
By 2001 CFPA has invested 12.83 millions Yuan and developed 126 integrated projects in over 100 counties. CFPA provided 8.88 million Yuan as seed money for 86 projects, and 3.95 million revolving funds for 40 additional projects. Thousands of similar projects followed these pilot projects with initiatives from local FPAs.

Objectives of the project
Safeguard women’s rights in reproductive health and family planning; 
Improve women’s health status; and 
Develop opportunities for women to participate in socio-economic activities.

Project focus
1. Poverty alleviation
Use government anti-poverty funds and other resources to make micro-credit grants to impoverished mothers and provided them with technical assistance to enable them to increase their incomes and gain a voice in household decisions and community affairs.
2. Literacy programs
Association-sponsored "mother schools" at the village level help impoverished women learn to read and write as they gain production skills and acquire reproductive health knowledge.
3. Reproductive health care
Grassroots Family Planning Associations give rural women access to periodic RTI and other exams and treatment, marshalling local health care providers on a voluntary basis.

Happiness project
Small amount of assistance to poverty-stricken mothers helps them improve family finances and upgrade their economic and social status by 
income generation. People now believe if mothers are happy the family will be happy. In China, 30 million women participated in various income generating activities organized by local FPAs.

Comments by UK/ODA
“The CFPA’s integrated project is doing much to improve the income of women in some of China’s poorer communities, providing help with better planting, animal breeding and small-scale enterprises through training and loans.”