Gender identities and farm survival: Women's activities in the agricultural sector in remote rural areas

Reza Khosrobeigi Bozchelouie

Abstract


Despite the structurally deterministic leanings of the literature about women and farms over time, new studies have attempted to identify the ways in which women’s positions in the rural household are reinforced, stressing the factor of visibility in the labor force. The entrepreneurial processes and commodification practices through which women engage in a range of different kinds of productive activity, such as agrotourism and the production of organic crops, are frequently cited as sources of empowerment for women on farms . However, since this new trend is not a unitary and homogeneous process, the present study examines the role of women in agriculture by taking into account the positionality of the specific actors, as well as their conflicts and negotiations within particular sociocultural contexts. Our analysis is based on sets of in-depth interviews with full-time farm women in Jirestan, north-eastern Iran. Findings indicate that Jirestan’s women identify themselves both as “producers” and “entrepreneurs.” Commercial gardens, in addition to new farming styles and the reproduction of sales of traditional local produce, have created this “hybrid” identity. Although farms are being re-constructed as shared businesses with an increase in the role of women, the latter still adhere to patriarchal traditions and social norms and consider themselves helpers and housewives.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14267/CJSSP.2018.2.04

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ISSN: 2062-087X

DOI: 10.14267/issn.2062-087X