In the 1980s, Beijing Publishing Company editor Wang Xingjuan began noticing women’s struggles to adapt to a changing nation. After retiring in 1988, she and a group of colleagues founded a women’s research institute to pinpoint strategies for women’s employment and political participation. Their research confirmed the difficulties that women faced in a China in transition, from unemployment to domestic violence.
In response to the findings, Wang Xingjuan launched the China’s first women’s hotline in 1992. Successful from its inception, today it serves 600 calls each month. The initiative has evolved into the Maple Women’s Counseling Center, which offers women a healing space while educating the community on gender-sensitivity.