Community programs and women's participation : the Chinese experience
Using household data specifically collected for the purpose of evaluation, the authors empirically evaluate the impact on household income of a rural program in China that focuses on increasing women's economic and social participation in the local community. They find that the program substantially increases women's participation and household income, and also generates positive social benefits. The authors'results also suggest that the income gains accrue only to participants, and partly at the expense of nonparticipants. They find that the magnitude of the program's impact depends sensitively on the program's ability to increase participation rates within villages. In the presence of the program, individual participation helps to prevent negative externalities and to buy into the positive gains accruing to participants. The authors'results support the view that effectively implemented gender-focused interventions can have substantial social benefits when supported by the necessary legal and institutional framework.
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