This paper will firstly review the current legal framework of securing equal land rights between women and men in China. Secondly, based on the sample survey undertaken in Shanxi Province in 1996, 1 the paper will examine the current state of land distribution, identify the causes of gender inequality in terms of security of land rights, and determine the impact of “insecure” land rights on the socioeconomic status of women. Finally, the policy implications will be examined. This paper proves that the legislative framework and economic institutions in general protect gender equality in land distribution. However, loopholes in the detailed institutional arrangements lead to the insecurity of women’s land rights, especially for divorced women, women re-locating due to marriage, and for their children who miss out on land redistribution as undertaken in their village communities. Although these phenomena have not yet significantly affected the intra-household bargaining power of the agricultural women, they do tend to reduce the households of the landless women to poverty. It is therefore necessary to add a gender perspective to the current Land Administrative Law and to relevant government regulations regarding farmland tenure.