The main objective is the study of the causes and key mechanisms of social exclusion of women farmers in Greece, France, Sweden, Netherlands and Finland, countries with varying degrees of traditional family and gender ideologies. Since women farmers are most often smallholders and experience social exclusion both as smallholders and as women, it is important to also examine the key mechanisms of the social exclusion of all smallholders. A number of indicators of this type of social exclusion will be also examined. Hence the specific objectives are:
(a) To study the main overt and hidden causes and mechanisms of the social exclusion of smallholders and particularly of women farmers;
(b) to assess how agricultural profitability and the unemployment rates of rural men and women affect the degree of feminization of farm enterprises and the exclusion or integration of women farmers;
(c) to identify the main strategies of smallholders aiming to counteract exclusion processes and to examine the impact of these strategies on women farmers' exclusion or integration chances;
(d) to identify women farmers' strategies (and their effectiveness) aiming to counteract exclusion processes;
(e) to assess the effectiveness of existing policies aiming to integrate women farmers in agriculture; and
(f) to examine the validity of identified indicators of smallholders' and women farmers' exclusion/integration.
While the EU Common Agicultural Policies set in motion powerful social exclusion processes toward smallholders, women farmers' social exclusion is primarily caused by still lingering and powerful traditional, patriarchal values concerning the appropriate roles of men and women in the family and society. These values are still particularly powerful in rural areas. They de-emphasize women's active roles in agriculture and subvert policies aiming to facilitate women farmers' integration.
Data will be collected through interviews on the basis of a questionnaire with unstructured and semi-structured questions. Most questions will be the same in all countries but a number of questions will refer to country-specific conditions. About 200 interviews with men and women farmers and a number of illustrative case studies will be obtained in each country. Also a number of interviews will be undertaken with representatives of agricultural institutions and farmers' organizations.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
221 00 Lund
6706 KN Wageningen