Lixue is seventy-two years old. Her husband passed away twenty-eight years ago from lung cancer. Tragically, her only child, a son, committed suicide in June 2020, at age 26, just one month before our fieldworker found her. We may have saved this precious widow from committing suicide herself.
Lixue has never been to school and she has never traveled outside the town in rural China where she was born. She was infertile, and so adopted her son when she was forty-six years old. His biological mother ran away when he was one month old. Since Lixue is from a poor family, no one wanted to marry her son. (Because of the sex-selective abortion of baby girls, there is now a great shortage of marriage-age women. For this reason, a young man’s parents are often expected to provide a home for their son so that he can attract a wife.) Lixue believes her son killed himself in June because he borrowed too much money in order to attract a girlfriend, and could not pay it back. Lixue can’t forgive herself, because she had no money to help him.
When our fieldworker found her, Lixue said she was “too sad to live.” Was Lixue thinking of committing suicide? If so, she would not be alone. China has the highest female suicide rate of any country in the world, especially in the rural areas. Beyond this, the senior suicide rate has skyrocked 500% over the past 20 years, because the One Child Policy has decimated the family structure and left millions of seniors destitute with no children to care for them.
Our fieldworker came to Lixue saying she is a human being deserving of dignity and love. She also offered Lixue $25 per month in practical support. Lixue feels comforted, knowing that there are people in the world who care about her enough to visit her every month and give her the financial help she desperately needs to rescue her from abject poverty.
Women’s Rights Without Frontiers is helping Lixue during her time of greatest need, giving her hope and practical help. With our help, she knows she is loved. With the $25 a month we give her, she is able to eat better and heat her little room in the cold winter.
Won’t you help abandoned widows in China? Learn more about our Save a Widow Campaign HERE.