Between the 1980s and the fi rst decade of the 21st century, China’s rapid, sustained economic growth brought great benefi ts to rural citizens. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for example, between 1978 and 2007 the real annual growth rate of rural per capita net income reached 7.1 per cent, and the number of rural people in absolute poverty declined from 250 million to 14.8 million (UNDP 2008: 10–11, 13). Rural life expectancy and literacy rates also improved dramatically. To many observers, these changes constituted nothing less than a ‘developmental miracle’ (So 2003). It was also noted, however, that China’s rapid economic growth had coincided with an increase in the types of rural–urban, regional and social disparities, environmental degradation and unrest that characterized other developing countries. Of particular concern to women’s advocates, some achievements that had been made in previous decades in reducing gender inequalities in rural political representation, income and education were being reversed (Tan Lin 2006; Tan Lin and Bohong Liu 2005).
|Title of host publication||Women, Gender and Rural Development in China|
|Editors||Tamara Jacka and Sally Sargeson|
|Place of Publication||Cheltenham|
|Publisher||Edward Elgar Publishing|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|