top of page
  • Writer's pictureIOFC

Story of the Month - December 2018

Updated: Sep 9, 2020

Centre Fellow Professor Song Jing serves Gender Studies Programme, The Chinese University of Hong Kong as an Assistant Professor. Her research interests include gender, family, work, migration, urbanization and market transition.  Her research covers topics of women's self-employment and entrepreneurship, land development and property rights, dating, cohabitation and marriage, and family relations.


Her recent research examines the role of female cadres in rural politics in three Chinese villages that have been rapidly industrialized and urbanized in recent decades. She also examines how structural constraints and personal traits have interacted with each other in the different contexts of women’s political participation.


Professor Song has presented different images of rural female cadres in China’s countryside in the process of industrialization and urbanization. In some cases, women cadres did not benefit much from the political capital of their fathers and husbands. Their political engagements have relied more on personal characteristics such as entrepreneurial talents and intermediating skills, and their economic performance and administrative capabilities.


Over time, governments have adopted different priorities and requirements for women to become political activists and role models. When rural industrialization and urbanization became the priorities of local governments under the market reforms, these historical moments provided women with certain opportunities to realize upward social and political mobility beyond conventional women’s tasks.


However, it is still common for women to occupy marginal positions in the grassroots leadership and they are expected to play supportive and “intermediating” roles. The persisting patriarchal norms remain a major source of frustration among women cadres, and some choose to conform to the virtuous womanly image to achieve a good reputation that is essential to their cadre work.


Caption: Farmland in Harvesting. (Photo credit: SONG Jing)



Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page