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Women Play Important Roles in China's Rural Areas
Women contributed 60 percent to the total output in China's rural areas as a result of the large number of men leaving local villages for cities seeking jobs, Tuesday's China Daily reported.

Gu Xiulian, vice-president of the All-China Women's Federation said the population shift justifies the increasing popularity of her federation's production skill training, especially in the countryside.

In addition to directly contributing to China's rural economy, many women are also lending a helping hand to aid others out of poverty.

At present, 2,092 villages in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province are governed by women with the total economic gains from these localities totaling some one billion yuan (US$120 million) in 2001.

However, a large proportion of laid-off workers in cities are women and the percentage is expected to increase in the future, according to Gu, whose federation pledges continued efforts to facilitate the re-employment of urban female workers through professional training and small-loan programs.

The Federation has helped some 2.06 million laid-off female workers to find jobs since the end of 1990s.

Statistics show that women comprise nearly 38.8 percent of China's urban employees and 65.6 percent of the country's rural laborers.

(Xinhua News Agency November 19, 2002)

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