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The impact of the world development process on women and family and vice versa is a problem which has received worldwide attention. The United Nations University (UNU), while doing research on human development, attaches importance to the factors of gender and age in the development process, and has accordingly initiated the highly significant Household, Gender, and Age Project. The aims of the All-China Women's Federation in participating in the project are as follows:

1. To make a study, in retrospective and prospective terms, of socioeconomic changes in China, with special emphasis on the impact of economic reforms on rural women since 1979, their roles in economic development, the patterns of the changes, and the problems arising therefrom. It is hoped that our research findings will be useful to decision makers in China.

2. To apply new research methods in training young research workers on women's issues, and to exchange experience of research work with other countries, developing countries in particular, to promote further development of our research.

3. To contribute to the UNU's global study, particularly its study of developing countries.

This research report is the result of the collaborative efforts of the All China Women's Federation and the provincial women's federations of Jiangsu and Sichuan. Researchers from the municipalities, counties, and townships in the two provinces did a tremendous amount of field research at different stages of the project, particularly during the general survey and the in-depth survey through questionnaires among the local women of Hengtang and Jiahong townships.

We have all along received support and help from the local governments and the friendly cooperation of the interviewees, their husbands, and the rest of their families. We owe sincere thanks to all of them.

Our particular gratitude naturally goes to the UNU for its sponsorship, guidance, and warm support. Ms. Kumiko Ishikawa has been consistently concerned over the progress of the project. Dr. Eleonora Masini, general coordinator of the project, has given us unstilted guidance and help from beginning to end. Mr. David Kertzer and Ms. Nancy Karweit have given us specific guidance and help at different stages. We would also like to express our thanks to Mr. Feng Fanghui of Beijing University for his guidance and assistance in data analysis.

We are also very appreciative of the fruitful exchange of views with friends from various countries involved in the project. In the process, we have cultivated mutual friendship and understanding.

Project Director: Sun Hejun
Researchers: Cai Sheng
  Zou Xiaqiao
  Cui Keping
  Yu Chuyun
  Liu Xiaoping

Research team leaders

- Sichuan Province: Wang Shuhui
- Jiangsu Province: Wang Zengli

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