Role of women’s empowerment in improving farmer’s livelihood: empirical evidence from China

  • Yu Shuai
  • Chuan-min Shuai
  • Wen-jing Li
  • Fu-bin Huang


Gender equality and women’s development are the paramount objectives for the sustainable development of the mankind. The influence of women’s rights and status on their family livelihood has been widely discussed in the academia. Based on the field survey questionnaire data from 796 farmers in China’s Three Gorges Reservoir Region, we firstly introduced the psychological capital into the analysis of farmers’ livelihood and constructed a farmers’ livelihood index, then we analyzed the impact of women’s empowerment on the livelihood of farmers by adopting OLS and quantile regression. The results show that: (1) women’s empowerment has a significantly positive effect on the livelihood of the farmer family, (2) their family decision-making power and educational investment can be promoted to narrow the gap between rich and poor among farmers, (3) compared with the elderly female labor force, women’s empowerment has a more significant influence on the livelihood of the family with younger female labor force, and (4) improving farmers’ psychological capital can also make a contribution to their livelihood. Finally, we proposed relevant policy recommendations accordingly based on the findings of this research.


Women’s empowerment Livelihood Farmers Three Gorges Reservoir Region China 



This research is supported by the Major Program of National Social Science Foundation of China (NSSFC): Systematic Evaluation on the Operating Mechanism of Poverty Reduction Performances of Solar PV Projects and Policy Innovations (Grant No. 17ZDA085); the project from the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (Grant No. 71773119); and the Fundamental Research Funds for China’s Central Universities (Grant No. G1323521714): Research on the Complementarity and Cooperation Potential between China and the “Belt and Road” Countries.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics and ManagementChina University of Geosciences (Wuhan)WuhanChina
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and FinanceHanjiang Normal UniversityShiyanChina

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