WUHAN, China — Wuhan is a Chinese city of high importance for the economy, finance, education and other activities in Central China. According to The China Perspective, Wuhan is also the most populous city in Central China with a population of 9,100,000 inhabitants. A city that is constantly growing and is the base of a strong production of iron and steel, Wuhan has its issues with poverty.
According to ChinaDaily, China identified 128,000 poverty-stricken villages and 92,000,000 people living in poor conditions. Cataloged as urban poverty, China has been experiencing an increase in this type of poverty in which poor people depend on the help that the government gives to them.
Research commissioned by the World Bank found out that five percent of Wuhan’s population lives in extreme poverty while eight to 10 percent of the population is unemployed. Unemployment is one of the major facts that determine urban poverty. According to the research, the economic reforms in Wuhan are the cause of the increase of urban poverty in the city.
Chinese rural migrants are also a part of the population that tends to live under poor conditions. These migrants move to cities in search of a better quality of life; however, poverty rates for migrants are 50 percent higher than city residents.
Over six percent of Wuhan residents live in poverty compared to the 15.1 percent of the migrants that live in poor conditions. In Wuhan, poverty is closely related to sex, age and education. Women are more likely to live under poverty because of the discrimination that females face in the workforce, where they are paid less than their male coworkers. For poor women, whether they are working or not, being in charge of traditional gender roles, such as taking care of children, is a normal thing.
Age is another factor that leads to poverty because people tend to have dependents that vary from an older sibling, to the youngest ones that are still not working.
The lack of education that poor people face represents an issue because without education, these people are less likely to obtain a job, and if they do, most of those jobs are in low-pay sectors. People living in poverty are more likely to work on farming and industry occupations and for commerce and service areas. Also, people in poverty are more likely to have bigger families than middle or upper class individuals.
In a speech given by the Danish Ambassador to China, Friis Arne Petersen mentions the importance of eradicating poverty in China in order to create better opportunities and future growth and prosperity.
Petersen, along with the Bestseller Foundation, presented a project to address poverty in the areas of the Hubei Province, such as Wuhan, that would focus on child poverty reduction with the hope that many other companies around the world would be encouraged to do the same in order to put an end to poverty.
– Diana Fernanda Leon
Sources: The China Perspective, ChinaDaily, Wuhan Urban Transport Project, KINA
Photo: China Daily