Electrification, labor force participation, and perceived social status for women in rural China

In Hyee Hwang, Semee Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Various studies have found that rural electrification can lead to female empowerment and promote paid work opportunities for women through increased access to, and productive usage of electricity. This study, however, reveals a more complicated story in rural China, where the socioeconomic effect of rural electrification on women remains varied, despite near-universal access to electricity. Using the 2012 China Family Panel Studies survey data, we find that while rural electrification is not associated with an increase in non-agricultural waged labor for women, it has a strong effect on directing them into participating in unpaid, non-agricultural family ventures. Despite its limited effect on encouraging female participation in formal employment, rural electrification still enables women to have stronger and more positive perceptions of their social status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-108
Number of pages22
JournalAsian Journal of Women's Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Yonsei University Future-Leading Research Initiative of 2018 under Grant number 2018-22-0087 and the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2019S1A5B5A07109574 and NRF-2016S1A3A2925230).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Asian Center for Women's Studies, Ewha Womans University.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies


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