Mei Yang

School of Economics & Finance
College of Business


Thesis Title
Barriers to Rural Women's Involvement in Economic Activities: Evidence from Shaanxi, China

Research Description
My research is on farmers' issues with gender sensitivity in the context of urbanization in China. I am going to trace the historic reasons for Chinese farmer's low status and income, with a focus on rural womens' roles in the process: how Chinese farmers, including female farmers, are marginalized and ignored. Next, I introduce what we had done in an innovative agriculture extension to improve their capacity and confidence, and thus facilitated them actively participating in the labour force and exploring their ingenious knowledge. In addition, I will survey rural women’s gender cognition, rural household living situations and land circulation at Huaixi village in a county of provincial-poor level in Shaanxi, China. I will also interview the local government about issues in developing modern agriculture and accelerating urbanization. The study will give the reader a whole picture as to what happened in the past, the present situation of Chinese farmers and female farmers (in particular), what is going on there now, and some suggestions as to how things might proceed.

Research Importance
Investigating farmer's issues concerning whether China can successfully transform its economic pattern to stimulating domestic consumption. Studying the source of Chinese farmer’s including female farmers low status and income and find the proper way to improve it is meaningful for the development of a fair and sustainable, harmonious society.

Research Benefit
Government officials will have a clear idea about farmers' issue and gender sensitivity, thus won’t have gender blind working approach or policy issues anymore; the extension personnel, with gender sensitivity, will extend agriculture technology more efficiently. Rural women will also build confidence and capacity in their daily farming and living.

Personal Description
I came from Norwest A&F University of China. Massey University and mine have good a relationship and are in contact frequently. The reason for me to choose it is that for one thing, it has good research faculties and it is quite good for research. When I finish, I would like to go back to my university and use what I have learnt to serve there.

Professor Martin Young
Professor Allan Rae
Professor Huiyan Zhao

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