Rural women´s land rights in China

Research summary

Land is a powerful asset, but it also has a social function. Its economic and social aspects are central in advancing gender equality. Legal control of land as well as legal and social recognition of women’s uses of and rights to land, can also have catalytic effects of empowerment, increasing women’s influence and status in their homes and communities. During past decades changes in the Chinese land tenure rights and practices have brought important incentives for rural developments including farmer income and living standards. However, rural women’s land rights are still not adequately implemented.
Despite modernization, China is administratively and socially very hierarchical. Foucault's idea of power provides a better starting point for looking at the use of power at the grassroots level than the hierarchical conception of power. Although the Communist Party has significant hierarchical power, at the village level, there are several parties involved in the exercise of power with different motives and perceptions.
Regarding to methodology, many researchers have utilized government and other official material to explain certain phenomenon. This research is mainly based on interviews because they can provide an insight that might otherwise be invisible in official documents. This research uses an intersectional approach to qualitative content analysis. It allows the exploration of numerous intersection themes simultaneously. For example, according to this research, age, marital status, location, and gender play an important role in women’s equality situation.


Research info

Research title
Rural women´s land rights in China

Research timeline
1.8.2016 - 1.6.2022

china Gender land rights rural women



University of Turku
Faculty of Law

Head of research
Pia Eskelinen

Contact information

Record last updated