Innovation vs opposition: the role of women in the family farms regeneration process: an Italian experience
New Medit, vol 8, n. 2, (June 2009), pp. 23-30
Jel classification: Q180, Q120
A large body of literature pointed out the great importance of the role of women in the rural development process to guarantee the commercial farm survival. Indeed, the women’s management in particular for family-run farms proved to have a notable capacity to seize new opportunities of income and great skills in the management regeneration offered by new links with society and rural areas. At the same time, the women’s management often meets opposition with the persistence of cultural factors reflecting a chauvinist approach; such opposition is more likely to occur in a territorial contest characterized by socio-economic marginalization. In this sense, an overriding objective of the European policy for rural development is to support the overcoming of such restrictions, by implementing the female enterprise in rural areas connected or not to agricultural activities or by promoting the women’s interest within the local network and the formal-informal institutions that preside over governance systems. The goal of this paper is to deepen the dynamics that have characterized the women’s management in Italian rural areas, in particular in the region of Lazium, under three different scenarios. First of all, we analyze the evolution of family and structural typologies related to farms consulting the Italian agricultural census data; we investigate the type of relationship existing between family and farm. Secondly, relating to policy use, we examine investments made by an unbiased sample of regional, women-run farms that benefited from the Rural Development Plan (RDP) by the Lazium Regional Government. Lastly, using survey data collected on farm, we address our effort to improve our understanding of the main socio-economic conditioning factors that could affect the women’s management performance.
farm management, women’s work, rural development