Rural Women, Displacement and the Three Gorges Project
Based on empirical research, this article examines the status, situations and development issues of rural women displaced by the monumental Three Gorges Project (TGP) in China. The study reveals that TGP resettlement is leaving women worse off as family members, as well as worse off than male members. Woman resettlers are more likely to become impoverished than men, partly because women make up the main labour force in agricultural sectors. Most women are unable to achieve occupational mobility in the process of resettlement. Fewer employment opportunities, a gender-segregated labour market, low level of human capital and social prejudice are principal causes. Land provision for resettlers is inadequate with a lower quality of productivity. Marriage is a means for some women to remain in or move to the reservoir area to improve their socio-economic status, but bias against granting of ‘resettler’ status to married women and their generally low levels of education and lack of occupational skills work against them. It is imperative that the authorities integrate a gender perspective into policy-making and design of resettlement schemes.