Women are vital for the sustainable development of rural areas, bringing added value to local communities. Women are frequently the driving force of innovation, diversification, and the development of new opportunities. However, these roles are often overlooked or invisible, with the men taking the traditional role in rural family businesses. As such, men are more often the registered owner and a prominent figure in rural decision-making bodies. Many women in rural areas still face challenges related to employment, entrepreneurship and education opportunities, access to land, and a weak presence in decision-making forums.
Supporting women in rural areas needs to go beyond the farm and address topics such as female exodus and settlement of new population in rural areas; female entrepreneurship; women’s role in rural services, volunteering, child and elderly care shortages, ageing and isolation, etc.
Beyond the need and opportunity for the incorporation and permanence of rural women in agricultural activity, there is an insufficient understanding and consideration of the full contribution of women in rural areas. This has led to a deficit in the development of effective policies.
This Community Group seeks to contribute to a greater understanding of the full contribution of women in rural areas building on the work conducted by the Horizon project GRASS Ceiling and its European Policy Forum for women-led innovation.
The coordinating organisations will work with other actors and community groups where synergies can be made and to ensure the voice of women in rural areas is heard.
Objectives of the Community Group
- Provide a space for engagement exchange of knowledge and experience which contributes to the European Policy Forum for women-led innovation implemented under the Horizon project GRASS Ceiling.
- Raise awareness of the needs and challenges faced by women in rural areas as well as of emerging opportunities.
- Share and analyse key policies that support women in rural areas and build recommendations based on lessons learned.
- Create opportunities to link up and connect stakeholders, and experts and trigger the development of projects, initiatives and shared action.
- Provide opportunity for knowledge exchange with other EU funded projects supporting women in rural areas.
- Branwen Miles (Copa-Cogeca)
- Blanca Casares (AEIDL)