Economic growth and its relevant subjects have been given the first priority in the research agenda since China initiated economic reforms in 1978, while the topics of social protection and gender equality have been largely left at the periphery for a long period. This book is a collection of evidence-based studies conducted mainly in poor areas of rural China during the recent two decades. Based on individual interviews and sample data analyses, this book emphasizes the importance of cooperative organizations to poverty reduction, and puts forward that gender equality is closely related with sustainable development. In addition, it addresses the issues of food security and elimination of social exclusion - the key to bridging economic divide. It also studies social protection, including basic health protection system, nutrition and healthcare for children, old age security for landless farmers and rural migrant workers. By providing first-hand accounts of different vulnerable groups, such as the poor, women, migrant workers, ethnic minorities and small farmers, this book offers valuable insights into studies of contemporary Chinese society and economy.