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Ma Dongling: Protecting Rural Women's Land Rights
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2013-3-21-
Title: Ma Dongling: Protecting Rural Women's Land Rights
Author: Ma Dongling
Release Date: March 21,2013
Keyword: Ma Dongling, Protecting, Rural Women, Land Rights

The Approach of the Management on Rural Land Contract Business License of People’s Republic of China (referred to hereafter as ‘the Approach’) took effect as of January 1, 2004. This action signified that China began to carry out the certificate system for the rights of rural land contract management. As there were no stipulations as to specific person to be listed as the family representative, the husband in a family is generally the only suitable candidate to be elected.

However, there is a drawback to selecting the male householder as the contractor representative for women’s land rights and interests, as in the event of divorce, women are then vulnerable to having their land rights infringed upon. According to data from the third survey on Chinese women’s social status, rural women’s land loss and revenue issues arise frequently. In 2010, rural women without land accounted for 21.0 percent of the total, an increase of 11.8 percent as compared to 2000. Of them, 27.7 percent of women lost their lands as a result of changes in marital status, including marriage, remarriage, divorce and being widowed, while only 3.3 percent of men lost their lands for the same reasons. A total of 27.9 percent of women lost their lands because of expropriation or transfer issues and 87.9 percent of them received compensation, while 12.1 percent did not, 1.9 percent higher than the proportion for men.

In view of this, three aspects should be taken into account by the Ministry of Agriculture in their further revision and implementation of the Approach: First, ensure husband and wife are registered as representatives of the land contractor. Second, include women in the land registration process. Lastly, hold more public education activities on women’s land rights to raise women’s awareness of their rights.


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