Gendered suffering: Married Miao women's narratives on domestic violence in southwest China

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4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is based on our oral testimonial projects in Guizhou province in Southwest China. Since 1999, we have employed oral testimony as one of the community development strategies and methods to study the life histories of Miao ethnic minority women in China's impoverished rural regions. By employing this method, we aim to empower the marginalized Miao women, and help them explore their hidden voices and learn about their life experiences, their views on their relationship with their husbands, families, communities, and other social forces that shape their livelihoods. Local women's narratives, especially those of married women, demonstrated their eagerness to talk about their lives as well as their suffering from family burdens, family discord, domestic violence, alcoholism, and other issues which were beyond our agenda. We finally found that suffering is the collective experience of married women, and domestic violence is a major source of women's suffering. This paper seeks to examine how the patriarchal system, rural poverty, and traditional cultural practices intertwine in shaping women's lives and contribute to women's suffering in everyday life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-39
Number of pages17
JournalChina Journal of Social Work
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011


  • Domestic violence
  • Gendered suffering
  • Narrative
  • Oral testimony

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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