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What the world can do to get women out of poverty

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2015-10-23

The United Nations Development Programme has been working on a pilot program for the Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture, in Guizhou province for eradicating poverty and reducing inequality with the focus on women and their development and the use of handicrafts.

One form of this is the embroidery of the Miao people, which is on the UN Cultural Heritage list and a traditional ethnic practice in the underdeveloped province, as a way of bringing women greater happiness. The program calls for embroidery training in Miao villages around Qiandongnan, where a majority of Miao and Buyi people live.

Their sophisticated embroidery skills can give the ethnic groups a better livelihood and greater economic and social status, and improve the value of the craft.

Patrick Haverman, UNDP's deputy country director for China, says that the UNDP is working with the Chinese government in applying the Millennium Development Goals to uproot poverty and eliminate inequality in China, and is putting a great deal of effort into Guizhou.

Haverman went on to explain that Miao embroidery has a long history and is a colorful folk craft that can be used to empower women and for sustainable development and called it "a brand new mode of empowerment and poverty relief", which also works with the Soong Ching Ling Foundation, Marie Claire, and the Kingdom Sanitary Production Co.

In affirming this, Deng Jingheng, head of Kingdom Sanitary, said, "The program will be carried out for at least three years and 3-4 villages in Qiandongnan will be chosen for the pilot and the initial phase this coming year, with more villages and regions covered in the near future," then added that the company's role is to fund the UN foundation to improve ethnic women's equality and health awareness.

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