Support Systems of Abused Women under the Changing Economy in China

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China has implemented an open-door policy, introducing economic reforms that have resulted in tremendous economic growth for nearly three decades. However, the reforms have increased the scope and complexity of social problems. Some of the major challenges are displacement of workers from state-owned factories, which lost competition to privately-owned or internationally-owned corporations; internal migration from remote or rural areas to economic blooming cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou; price increase of basic necessities; and the increase of alienation among people due to urbanization. Such changing socio-economic context has altered the informal support system for individuals and families, particularly abused women, who used to seek material, emotional, and social support from their extended families and friends. Challenges encountered by abused women include lack of job security; juggling between child caring responsibilities and demand from work in competitive environment; lack of informal support for women who are relocated from remote or rural areas; and inability to live independently without lowering existing standards of living for their children. This paper presents an analysis of the informal and formal support systems among women, who have been abused by intimate partners in Guangzhou, one of the fastest economic growth cities in Southern China. The authors will discuss the availability, accessibility, adequacy of support systems for abused women and their needs in such changing socio-economic context. Implications for social work practice and policy change will be discussed.


Keywords: Social Support, Women Abuse, China
Stream: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , Support Systems of Abused Women under the Changing Economy in China


Dr. Dora M.Y. Tam

Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
King's University College, University of Western Ontario

London, Ontario, Canada


Dr. Siu Ming Kwok

Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
King's University College, University of Western Ontario

London, Ontario, Canada


Dr. Yuk-chung Chan

Associate Professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hong Kong, Nil, China


Dr. Agnes, K.C. Law

Professor, Department of Social Work, Sun Yat-sen University
Guangzhou, China


Wenmei Wu

MSW Candidate, Department of Social Work, Sun Yat-sen University
Guangzhou, China


Ref: I08P0146