When we first met with Shi Xiaoqin, we couldn’t believe that she had just left the Chinese army. She was free-minded, vocal and funny, very different from the images of disciplined military officers portrayed in media or in popular entertainment. More importantly, she very proudly called herself a feminist.
Just before International Women’s Day on March 8th, we are pleased to interview her, and to listen to her story about how she transformed into an outspoken women’s rights advocate.
Born in a small village in China, Xiaoqin puts women’s rights issues into a complex social context, which is influenced by many cultural, economic, and historical elements. Her understanding of women’s rights issues is comprehensive and in-depth, moving way beyond topical issues like sexual harassment in universities and urban working environments. Her perspective is deeply rooted in women’s livelihoods in the vast rural areas of China and considers the broader social and economic structure of Chinese society.