Gender inequities continue to persist in China, especially in rural areas. According to the NBSC, evidenced by a skewed sex ratio at birth (111.3 male to 100 female births in 2020), 6.8 lower than 2010. Girls from the rural area have a smaller chance of attending school than their male counterparts, due, in part, to a long-held perception that men are entitled to more privileges than women. With 26-year experiences, SOAR has decided to create a project dedicated to rural areas girls' eduction.
Gender norms and practices have limit Chinese girls' and women's learning aspirations and occupational choices. 78.9 percent of parents in villages are inclined to bring their sons with them to bigger cities for better education. In addition, when they only have finances to pay for one child's higher education, 97.5 percent of them would choose sons over daughters. The rural area girls are the "underdogs of the underdogs". This project will benefit the rural areas girls' education.
SOAR runs its scholarship project as a streamlined and detailed process to combat this issue every year: 1) Distribute scholarship applications to students in the target regions through local school teachers and principals. 2) SOAR Evaluation Committee in the U.S reviews applications at three levels and make selections. 3) Our Beijing Office distributes the award funds directly to the recipients. 4) We pair mentors with students to provide academic guidance, moral support, and collect feedback.
Since 1995, many SOAR scholars have realized their dreams and permanently departed from a life of poverty. Among them, 60% are girls. Success stories in all industries include some become research scientists, entrepreneurs, while others returned to home town and become elementary school teachers. In return, many become contributing members and future leaders of society, but also continue to give back to the community that they originate from. Women play vital roles in families in societies.