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‘Simply Kicked Out’: How Village Committees Deprive Women of Their Land Rights

By Raffaele Huang Ruohong and Poornima Weerasekara
Rural land is the fall-back option for millions in China’s countryside, who don't enjoy the same access to health insurance or pensions enjoyed by landless urban dwellers. Pictured is a rural woman working on a farm in Yongji, Shanxi province. Photo: Visual China
Rural land is the fall-back option for millions in China’s countryside, who don't enjoy the same access to health insurance or pensions enjoyed by landless urban dwellers. Pictured is a rural woman working on a farm in Yongji, Shanxi province. Photo: Visual China

Women may hold up half the sky in China, but when it comes to land, it’s a totally different matter.

As the country’s arable land shrinks and rural property values surge, women are being robbed of their rights by the village committees who allocate and manage land.

Women are suffering from double discrimination at the hands of these committees that are elected by local residents. In many places, women who marry outsiders have their claim to land in their birthplace revoked, even when the land certificates still bear their names. Those who move to their husband's villages are often refused recognition and the right to any claim on their spouse's land.

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