Global Asia Journal


Occasional Paper No. 9

Document Type



This paper focuses on the changing status of women in a village community in the colonial and post-colonial New Territories of Hong Kong SAR, China. It argues that village women are active agents in reclaiming their personal autonomy and play a proactive role in influencing the sociopolitical order of rural society. In particular, this study demonstrates how village women individually and collectively engaged the patriarchal rule in dealing with the Chinese lineage organizations in the New Territories. It asserts that women’s domestic existence is never a wholly domesticated one but instead it contains significant elements of self-articulation and selfempowerment. The continuity of patriarchal rule in the New Territories fails to constitute any moral and philosophical leadership (i.e., hegemony) with active consent from the people. Chinese village women often succeeded in claiming their own rights and defending their interests within the patriarchal system.