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Harsh life of female peasants in North Jiangsu
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-11-28 11:40
Figures released by authorities show that in 2005, about 7.8 million farmers in Jiangsu went out to work in other provinces, accounting for nearly 30% of the rural labor force in the region. In Xuzhou, a city in northern Jiangsu, 1.05 million rural farmers left their home villages to work in 2005, generating 10 billion yuan worth of revenue. Labor services accounted for 21.3% of the net income of farmers in Jiangsu.

Behind these figures, however, are a group of women living a harsh life. These women have set up their families but are separated from their husbands for many years. Instead of living a comfortable life, they appear in the fields every day, rain or shine, and do farm work otherwise done by their husbands. They have a family, but it is a broken family. In a recent investigation, 75% of the peasant women complain that hard work has damaged their health.

In a questionnaire conducted by the Women's Federation of Fengxian County, when asked what concerns them most, many women say they fear their husband might "have extramarital affairs with other women". Some women say they want to "re-rent their land to other people so that they can go and work together with their husbands" and they won't be "bothered by this concern any more."

Since these women are in a relatively disadvantaged position, their legal rights can not be guaranteed and they often become rape victims. The investigation shows that among all cases occurring in rural regions, 70% of the victims are women left alone at home. 
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