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Constructing a Lecturers¡¯ Group of Women/Gender Studies
I. Project Information
Title: Cross-Region Cooperation: Constructing a Lecturers¡¯ Group of Women/Gender Studies
Grant Number: 1065-0312
Total Fund: $ 82 000
Project Coordinator: Ms. Luo Xiaoge
Project Members: Women/Gender Studies Center of Hunan Business College, Hunan Province Women¡¯s Prison, Female Education Studies Center of Hunan Women¡¯s University, Female Academy of Hunan Institute of Science and Technology, Social Work Department of Changsha Social Work College, Women Studies Center of Hunan Institute of Engineering, Women Department of Changsha General Labor Unions, Women Federation of Hunan Province, Soft Science Research Center of Hunan Society and Science Federation, Publishing House of Hunan University, Academic Journal of Hunan Institute of Science and Technology, Women Daily, Women & Children Activity Center of Hunan Province, Chinese School of Hunan Business College, Foreign Language School of Hunan Business College.
2.1 The Women/ Gender Studies curriculum of has been being offered by colleges and universities in Hunan Province since 2001. It is widely acknowledged amongst teachers and students that Women/ Gender Studies offers a theory which is conducive to promoting gender equality and harmonious gender development. It has gradually become the focus of society and tertiary education system and has permeated into various fields of academic research, having a positive impact on these fields. However, once the project starts, it will be challenged by such issues as how to cooperate cross regions and how to guarantee resource sharing on an equal basis. Cooperation on an equal basis means developing together, equally sharing resources and equal voices between the leading and common tertiary institutes and also between professors and grass- root members. To guarantee equal participation, the project members have successfully developed a ¡°small group¡± operational mode and have worked out a set of regulations for democratic management and equal participation as ¡°open information, equal opportunity, training leading members, platform development, network support, and sustainable development¡±. We focus on the result of our project and pay more attention to nurturing a democratic atmosphere, and enhancing transparency and openness, so that every participant can benefit from our project.
2.2 Once the theory and practice have been integrated, the initial project perspective, be it feminism or other problems, can be ascertained in order to conduct local Women¡¯s Studies. Cross-regional cooperation can be an effective method and a challenge as well: Is your basic perception consistent with the actual survival condition of local Chinese women? Can your methodology be tested by local practice? Can your expressions be understood and accepted by local female field- workers? As Women¡¯s Studies itself goes further to some degree, it is unavoidable to intrude into other research fields. Consequently, it is natural for our project to extend into all walks of life, which also characterizes our project. Over the course of studying and discussing practical problems, we manage to discover realities, to refine our perceptions, to embrace different voices, and to learn equal cooperation. Our project takes on a developing trend of combining multi-disciplinary and comprehensive theory and practice.
2.3 When we try to practice and test our research among female criminal communities, such as gathering more public resources to enable them access to advanced social gender education, we find that there is lack of an effective channel and a platform to rely on. During the course of modernization and China¡¯s social transition; along with female stereotype reinforced by the consumer-oriented media, female materialization and commercialization has unfortunately become ¡°by-product¡± of market center. We are faced with challenges of how to get women access to the field of management of public affairs and of how to stick to NON- Governmental-Organization (NGO) principles of ¡°credibility+ economization + dedication¡±.
In order to achieve our goals, our project strictly adheres to the following guidelines: to integrate academic teaching into practice; to combine the work of academic researchers and of people working in the field; to link the project to routine; to show respect toward Chinese indigenous academic traditions and experience while introducing western feminist theories; to make Women/Gender Studies penetrate cultural activities of colleges and universities such as exhibitions, lectures and so on so forth; to carry out integrated cross-disciplinary investigations and research in order to contribute to the development of the discipline of Women/Gender Studies in China.
The project has been carried out in a chronological order: Stage One (2006 Jan. ¨C June): a platform has been built up for cross-regional cooperation to pave the way for the project; Stage Two (2006 June-Sept): we have explored administration methods of cross-regional cooperation to allow new members to realize the goal of new-born power growing along with the project; Stage Three (2006 Oct. ¨CDec.): students¡¯ campaigns have been launched, therefore enhancing students¡¯ social consciousness and the ability of field-work to promote their knowledge productivity via practice; Stage Four (2007 Jan.- May): maturity and development of cross-regional cooperation teams; Stage Five (2007 June- Aug.): our project has trained members and organized conferences while pursuing the policy of ¡°1+1£¾2¡±; Stage Six (2007 Sept.- 2008 Jan.): we have taken joint efforts to demonstrate and promote our project. Cooperative members have presided at working conferences at each stage and provided periodical financial summaries. Our project has been sticking to the policy of democratic management and democratic supervision.
III. Long- & Short- term Goals of Project
3.1 Long-term Goals
Our project aims to achieve the following long-term goals: to facilitate social consciousness by providing equal opportunities to enter all social stratums and all fields of academic research; to promote the mainstreaming of development of Women/Gender Studies discipline in colleges and universities; to make cross-regional cooperation become an investigative and research methodology universally accepted by academic circles; and to positively take part in the development of a national network of Women/ Gender studies.
3.2 Short-term Goals (Project Goals)
1. Formation of Project Team: to organize a leading team in Hunan Province to start training programs of regional women/ gender studies, research work and all needed initiatives; to actively take part in the formation of a national network of women/ gender studies.
2. Curriculum Development: to treat it as a turning point to provide women/ gender studies curriculum in colleges and universities in order to improve women/ gender curriculum and discipline construction.
3. Social Investigation and Research: to focus on the present and historical situation of local women¡¯s living condition and development in Hunan Province so as to enable researchers to conduct an influential research with Hunan regional characteristics.
IV. Indicators of Success Achieved to Date
4.1 Construction of Project Team
1) The project has successfully held 15 field conferences, on-site training programs, teaching demonstrations and academic salons, which contribute to the achievement of the goal of NGO horizontal management and also facilitates the objective of constructing a 25-person leading lecturer¡¯s group consisting of Women¡¯s Studies learners in Hunan Province, social activists of cross-regional cooperation and key leaders of NGO project management.
2) Originally, the project planned to support five members attendance at related conferences. However, without going over the project budget, there were 29 members nominated, funded and half- funded by the project to have access to the conferences, which is a major breakthrough in the initial quota, attributing to adherence to project principles and mutual assistance. The project held conferences to discuss over conference attendees¡¯ qualifications as follows: (1) members whose papers have been awarded; (2) members in charge of sub-project and major lecturers of principal curriculum; (3) for two members from the same cooperative unit, one subsidized by the conference organizer and the other funded by the project; (4) those who have been funded once were invited by the project to attend the conferences at their own expense. Transparent management model and philosophy of resource sharing overwhelmingly mobilize people¡¯s enthusiasm and, at the same time, encourage the full usage of limited resources.
4.2 Curriculum Development
1) Members of the lecturers¡¯ group of women/gender studies have finished lecturing 10 professional courses and 9 social gender cross-professional courses. ¡°Women¡¯s Studies¡± is a collaborative work of project members of Hunan Province project, chiefly edited by Ms Luo Xiaoge, assistant-edited by Hunan Province University and is approved as the eleventh five-year plan state textbook of Higher Education. Among those leading members, 9 members have obtained Ph D., 7 of whom are female and 2 male. The content of academic seminars, lectures and quality courses have been imprinted onto 40 disks, and altogether 18 pieces of media courseware have been awarded. 2) There are altogether 200 teachers and students from colleges and universities taking part in social investigation and research, 10 tertiary institutes provide a course in Social Gender and related courses, which enable more than 20 000 students to have access to the studies of social gender. Through our efforts, awareness of social gender has been integrated into such disciplines as Sociology, Chinese Linguistic Literature, Public Management, Law, History, Economics, Physical education, and Aesthetics.
2) The lecturers¡¯ group of women/ gender studies in Hunan Province has successfully developed a Website ¡°www.38hn.com¡±, affiliated with the Hunan Business College server. According to the statistics from April 16th, 2006to December 18th 2007, 53 141 people have visited the website. The maximum number of visitors per day was 299. The website provides a platform for resource sharing, multi- facet integration, democratic management and academic communication. It is also honorably regarded as ¡°office which is never locked¡±.
4.3 Social Investigations and Research
1) Five sub-projects of social investigation and research have been carried out according to the plan. On average, there are 2 teachers and 10-20 students who are in charge of each sub-project. Together these projects put out more than 10 thousand questionnaires. More than 100 students participated in social investigation and research. More than 20 thousand students have benefited from all the campaigns launched. According to the statistics from the Website, there are altogether 120 theses and investigation reports blogged.
2) San Xiang Forum- Women¡¯s Function in Culture Construction of New Country jointly founded by our project and Hunan Province Social and Scientific League has been praised by main-stream media as an influential and high-quality forum for ¡°Women of Miao Nationality to participate along with well- known professors, for allowing people at grass-root to voice¡±. There were more than 400 people attending this forum. The project of Women¡¯s Function in Culture Construction of New Country was approved as a granted project (Grant Number: 0609005D) by Adjudication Board of Hunan Province Philosophy, Society and Science Achievement Award
3) Our project along with Academic Journal of Hunan Institute of Science and Technology set up a local column named Women¡¯s Studies. Eight issues of the Journal have been released, which altogether include 28 investigation reports and papers composed by teachers and 18 by students and some transcripts of oral interviews with 200 thousand words. One of project members has finished the translation (280 thousand words) of an autobiography, Living for Change, written by Grace Lee Boggs, a female Chinese- American writer.
4.4 Realization of Sustainable Development
Since our project has be sponsored by the Ford Foundation, cooperative members have successfully and independently applied for four other international cooperative projects, which means international cooperation projects have grown from one to five in Hunan Province. All of the projects have made encouraging progress, among which the Women¡¯s Studies Center of Hunan Business College has been developing our project from the following five aspects: 1) the Center has presided over forming Hunan Women/ Gender lecturers¡¯ Group (2006 Feb.-2008 Jan.); 2) the Center, sponsored by the International Education Association of America, attended an Art Conference held by the Philadelphia legislature (2007 Oct.); 3) the Center participated in organizing Administration Committee of Women/ Gender Studies Development Network (2006 Aug. ¨C2010); 4) the Center played the principal function of assisting Hunan Women University to accomplish the Sino- Canadian joint project ¡°Policy Studies on Protection of Women¡¯s Rights during Labor Force Transition¡±; 5) Changsha Social Work College, a member of our project, presides over a sub-project of ¡°Exploration on Sex Education of Young Offenders In Light of Social Gender¡±, a sub-project sponsored by the key foundation of Cross-Profession and Cross-regional GAD (Gender and Development) Case Studies and Exchange Project which is conducted by Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences.
Team Development: the Hunan sub-network has joined the network of national women/ gender development; the young and middle-aged research group is shaping up.
Curriculum Development: Women, Gender and Cross- Literature Studies provided by the Women¡¯s Studies Center of Hunan Business College has been categorized as one of the key subjects (Master Degree) of college curriculum development; Women¡¯s Studies provided by Hunan Women University has been hailed as provincial quality curriculum and national quality curriculum; Social Work program at Changsha Social Work College has been nominated as national demonstration key program of secondary vocational or technical schools.
Website Development: Chinese School of Hunan Business College and Women¡¯s Studies Center jointly supervise the development of websites.
Campus Activities: the project has built up the contact network for college students¡¯ Women / Gender Studies unions.
Publication and Promotion: in order to initiate and promote the achievements of the project, the Center will publish the special experiment report on Women¡¯s Studies and Local Experience and the Chinese translation of Living for Change.
4.5 Success in presiding at a national conference on Cross-regional Cooperation of Women/ Gender Studies
From December 13th to 16th in 2007, we successfully presided at a national conference on Cross-regional Cooperation of Women/ Gender Studies. The purpose of this conference was to exchange research methods and experience accumulated by nationwide projects of Women/ Gender Studies, suitable for localization, to summarize operation guidelines and management experience of our project, and to promote and initiate the sustainable development of Social Gender Studies as China¡¯s basic national policy and as a mainstream subject. Three-month of preparation and three preparatory meetings before the conference promoted the team¡¯s ability of organization and brought project members into closer relations with cooperative units.
One achievement from the conference was that research results of gender studies have come to light. Among 50 lecturers at this conference, 25 people presented their dissertations, 8 people are project spokespersons, 12 people are spokespersons for the project, coordination and assessment, 4 leaders are from Provincial Education Bureau, Provincial Society and Science Federation and from tertiary institutes, and 1 person was the guest of honor. This conference provided our project with appropriate time to look back at where the project has been as well as to anticipate where it might be going. Collecting dissertations and project summarizations enabled project members to rationally sum up their experience, which is helpful in realizing the project goal of putting knowledge into practice and theorizing actions.
As for the attendees, part of them were from 20 colleges and universities of Hunan Province, which is beneficial in promoting experience in developing related curriculums throughout this region, which consequently enhances the consciousness of the management level in Women/ Gender Studies. Those who presented their dissertations were from 20 universities of China, taking Qinghua University and China Media University for instance. The conference attendees totaled 130.
Another achievement was that the conference enhanced people¡¯s awareness of the plight of local women living condition. During the four-day conference, participants who joined in a party called ¡° Gender¡¤Hand in Hand¡±, were deeply impressed and deeply touched. On the last afternoon of the conference, people visited the oil painting exhibition held by Hunan Women¡¯s Prison and had conversations with inmate artists. This activity has demonstrated the highlights of our project in diversified art forms and successfully introduced the survival experience of local women living at bottom of society to the public in order to raise the public awareness. And it also attracts the attention from Hunan Province mainstream media. Statistics, although incomplete, indicate that our conference has been reported by such medias as People Daily, Hunan Satellite Broadcasting Channel, REDNET.com, Hunan Daily, Changsha Evening Paper, Family Guidance, Temporary Commerce, Academic Journal of Hunan Business College, Hunan Province TV Station, and News Net. These ten mainstream media institutions¡¯ reports expand the social influence of our project.
4.5.2 Innovation and Experience
Transparent and open management provides ¡°win-win¡± policy for the conference and website development. All the essay-writing criteria, the name-list of honorably invited attendees, conference schedules, and conference documents have been publicized on the Internet, which turns out to be a sound method to disseminate propaganda for our project, and plays a key function in encouraging democratic participation and democratic management. As a result, the team effect of pooling the wisdom and efforts of everyone was apparent. Up until December, the website visitors totalled 6728 and by the end of December the number rose to 50 thousand. The conference and our website both have both benefited.
During the conference, we deeply feel that the conference itself can also be regarded as a training program. First of all, it is actually a high-quality training program of social gender theories. The conference includes two lectures, one of which is ¡°UN Promotion of the Policy and Law Framework of Social Gender Mainstreaming¡± presented by Ms Liu Bohong (the head of National Research Institute of Women Federation), the other of which was ¡°Characteristics and Development of Women Society Studies in Mainland¡± provided by Ms Wang Jinling (from Zhe Jiang Province Academy of Social Sciences). Both of these lectures were well received. What¡¯s more, all the related conference affairs were arranged by teachers and students. Through this activity, more teachers and students are becoming more aware of Women¡¯s Studies. The conference acts as a program for nurturing the cross-regional cooperative ability and coordinating ability of project members.
At the same time, it also provides an opportunity to develop members¡¯ ability to organize meetings and to raise money. Remarkably, over the course of arranging the conference, students from Hunan Business College showed their enthusiasm and the ability to act. Not only did they assume the responsibility of conference secretarial work, but also they successfully held a large high- quality party, for which students¡¯ communities independently planned, designed and raised money by way of donations from sponsors, totally RMB 5 000.
Success in presiding at the conference has played a positive function in guaranteeing a sustainable development of Hunan Province project and in integrating the project into the development network of national Women/ Gender Studies. During the summer holidays in 2007, there was only 1 person attending teacher training programs. By contrast, as of January of 2008, there have been 7 people participating in the training programs.
V. Activities and Persons in Charge
5.1 Construction of Project Team
5.1.1 Seven Working Conferences for Training Programs
Person in Charge: Ms. Luo Xiaoge et al, Appendix 1
5.1.2 Visiting and Training Tours of a lecturers¡¯ group (29 people)
Person in Charge: Ms. Chen Zhunlian, Appendix 2
5.2 Curriculum Development
5.2.1 Quality Curriculums (5.2.1¡ª5.2.6)
126.96.36.199 Seminars of Women¡¯s Studies
Person in Charge: Mr. Chen Pengfei, Appendix 3
188.8.131.52 Itinerant Lectures of Lecturers¡¯ Group
Person in Charge: Ms. Luo Xiaoge, Appendix 4
184.108.40.206 Construction of a Reference Library for lecturers¡¯ Group
Person in Charge: Mr. Yan Lanhua
220.127.116.11 Website Development (www.38hn.com)
Person in Charge: Ms. Qing Xiaohong, Appendix 5
18.104.22.168 Remote Education Training of Women University
Person in Charge: Ms. Wang Fenghua, Appendix 6
22.214.171.124 Seminar of Women¡¯s Studies Education
Person in Charge: Mr. Shao Hanqing, Appendix 7.
126.96.36.199 Women/ Gender¡¯s Studies
Person in Charge: Ms. Zhu Pingyan, Appendix 8
188.8.131.52 Art Education of Hunan Province Women¡¯s Prison
Persons in Charge: Ms. Zhao Lan & Ms. Xie Lifang, Appendix 9
184.108.40.206 Women and Social Work
Person in Charge: Ms. Yuan Jihong, Appendix 10
220.127.116.11 Women¡¯s Aesthetics & Physical and Mental Health
Person in Charge: Ms. Wu Huiling, Appendix 11
18.104.22.168 The First Meeting of the Seventh Conference of Hunan Province Sub-network
Person in Charge: Ms. Wang Fenghua, Appendix 12
22.214.171.124 Quality Curriculum development of Women¡¯s Studies
Person in Charge: Ms. Wang Fenghua, Appendix 13
126.96.36.199 Women/ Gender¡¯s Studies
Person in Charge: Ms. Wang Qionghua, Appendix 14
188.8.131.52 Gender¡¯s Studies
Person in Charge: Ms. Luo Xiaoge, Appendix 15
184.108.40.206 Women and Public Media
Person in Charge: Ms. Qing Xiaohong, Appendix 16
220.127.116.11 Women/ Gender¡¯s Studies
Person in Charge: Ms. He Ying, Appendix 17
5.2.2 Campus Cultural Activities
18.104.22.168 Anti- Domestic Violence & White Ribbon Campaign
Person in Charge: Ms. Wang Qionghua, Appendix 18
22.214.171.124 Self- Reliance¡ªa Series of Campus Activities for Female Students¡¯ Day
Person in Charge: Ms. Peng Wenzhong, Appendix 19
5.2.4 Cross- Profession Curriculums ( 7 in all)
Person in Charge: Ms. Ni Xianghong, Appendix 20
5.3 Social Investigations and Research
5.3.1 Prince Xiang & folk Customs¡¯ Investigation in Yong Zhou City
Person in Charge: Mr. Zhang Jinghua, Appendix 21
5.3.2 Urban Destitute Sing- Mothers¡¯ Survival Condition Studies and Social Supports
Persons in Charge: Ms. Luan Linna & Ms. Chen Zhunlian, Appendix 22
5.3.3 Growth Problems and Measures of Girls in Hunan Province
Person in Charge: Ms. Luo Xiaoge, Appendix 23
5.3.4 Folk Music and Women of Hunan Province
Person in Charge: Ms. Wu Zhongbei, Appendix 24
5.4.1 Press Conferences and Promotion
Person in Charge: Ms. Xiao Bailing, Appendix 26
5.4.2 San Xiang Forum
Person in Charge: Ms. Chu Ling, Appendix 27
5.4.3 Seminar of Cross-regional Cooperation of Women/ Gender¡¯s Studies in December
Person in Charge: Ms. Luo Xiaoge & Ms. Pan Jian, Appendix 28
5.5.1 A column of Local & Women¡¯s Studies on Academic Journal of Hunan University Of Sicence And Engineering
Person in Charge: Mr. Zhang Jinghua, Appendix 29
5.5.2 Chinese Version of Grace¡¯s autobiography (Living for change)
Translator: Ms. Liu Bin
5.5.3 Documentaries¡¯ translation: Ms. Liu Bin & Mr. He Jun
5.6 Office work
Person in Charge: Mr. Yang Lanhua
5.7 Basic Facilities
Person in Charge: Mr. Yang Lanhua
VI. Changes and Diversity in Organizations
Since our project has been carried out for two years, there are some changes in the project members and cooperative units as follows:
1. It was Hunan Province Women Federation who applied for ¡°Social Gender Training Program of Hunan Province Colleges & Universities¡¯ Management¡±. However, as the project moved on, Women Federation found it hard to fulfill the task. Therefore, Women¡¯s Studies Center of Hunan Business College, Soft Science Researcher Center of Hunan Society and Science Federation, and Women Education Research Center of Hunan Province Women University jointly took over this training program, which became one of themes of a seminar held in December.
2. Due to Ms Chen Zhunlian¡¯s business transfer, the person in charge of applying for the project- Urban Destitute Single- Mothers¡¯ Survival Condition Studies and Social Supports, the implementation cite transfers to Women Department of Changsha City General Labor Unions and persons in charge now are Ms Luan Linna and Ms Chen Zhunlian.
3. Being unable to adapt to operation regulations of sub-projects, one person and one institute seceded from our project. At the same time, thanks for our open and transparent principle of resource sharing, teacher members in the project increase from 46 to 60, male participants from 8 to 15 and students members from 2 to 40. Institutes providing project-related curriculums increase by 6. Two women are on maternity leave and nine people leave working on their PhD. Guided by the maxim¡ª ¡° because I make a commitment, I should try my best¡±, Our project manages to change feminism theorization into spontaneous deeds and change ¡°believing ourselves¡± into ¡°trusting other members, relying on teamwork¡±. Collective discussions help our project to obtain wise advice and effective measures when it is confronted with changes and problems. During the project years, we not only have accomplished all goals but also have made remarkable breakthrough. All the project members are volunteers.
4. Our project takes on a cultural diversity. Owing to adherence to open policy, our project achievements also include multi-national culture research on such fields as ¡°Prince Xiang¡± legend, ¡°Jiangyong N¨¹ Shu¡±, embroidery of Miao Nationality in Xiangxi City, folk music of Miao Nationality, Nuo Opera ( a folk performance) and transcript interviews of single-mothers, and the diaries and painting works of inmates from Hunan Province Women Prison.
VII£®Problems and Deficiencies
To put theory into practice and to promote Women/ Gender Studies mainstreaming, we should actively take part in public welfare programs and non-profit public activities. However, the deeds of volunteers¡¯ participating in public-spirited activities have not yet been fully recognized by the public and protected by concerned law or mechanism. Neither have governments or administrators of tertiary institutes provided quantified standards regarding these activities, nor are they included in the indexes of personnel management such as annual assessment, evaluation and promotion. What¡¯s more, there exist clear-cut barriers among different disciplines in the contemporary education system. Given the preceding reasons, it is fairly hard for young and middle-aged civil servants and educators to participate in the project activities. Therefore, project members mainly consist of senior professors and college students. There still exists a great need to attract more community organizations to speed up governments¡¯ promotion and legitimization of NGO. After reflecting what we have achieved and have done, we find that project members¡¯ ability to combine theory and practice and to theorize practice still needs to develop.
Explanation for the over-expenditure of conference fees: the original financial budget did not include the expense of the seminar in December, so over-expenditure of conference spending totals $16865 (RMB 133095.4), which is met by the sub-budgets for curriculum development and for publications. (For details, see Financial Report). In sum, our project budget has covered all the spending in the project.
Mr. He Jin
Project Coordinator: Ms Luo Xiaoge
January 31th, 2008
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