Kwestie płci powinny być włączone do polityki obszarów wiejskich na różnych poziomach i istnieje potrzeba zintensyfikowania badań nad strukturami i procesami zarządzania obszarami wiejskimi z perspektywy równości płci (Wiest, 2016). Kobiety z obszarów wiejskich nadal borykają się z poważnymi trudnościami w porównaniu nie tylko z mężczyznami ze wsi, ale także z kobietami z miast. Pomimo wysiłków politycznych wyniki ostatnich badań i sprawozdań pokazują, że postęp jest nadal niewystarczający. Partnerstwo MORE postanowiło zatem przewidzieć jeden wynik projektu, którego celem jest dogłębna analiza wielofunkcyjności kobiet wiejskich jako nowy sposób promowania rozwoju i regeneracji obszarów wiejskich UE.
Badania będą dotyczyć m.in. następujących aspektów:
An analysis of the multifuntionality of rural women as a new paradigm for rural development was undertaken at the EU level and within each of the countries represented within the MORE partnership, namely: Spain, Greece, Italy, Poland, and Romania. Within each of the country level analyses undertaken, a similar methodology was followed to ensure that the following areas were effectively covered: Definition, Policy Framework, Best Practices, Training Needs, and Co-Creation Examples.
Although no official or formal working definition regarding multifunctionality appears present, it is clear that the multiple roles of rural women are indirectly acknowledged and addressed in various contexts. It was concluded that the multifunctional role of rural women is a reality and, although there is no formal definition associated with it, the situation is similar in participant countries to that of the rest of the EU countries. Going forward, to ensure consistency across the EU, there needs to be a modernised, formal definition brought forward for guidance beyond the stereotypical view.
Policy frameworks across the participant countries appear fragmented and haphazard. Each country studied appears to be experiencing similar problems and concerns related to its rural environments and the role of women but their policy approaches differ substantially from reactive to proactive with uneven applications. As such, there needs to be more of a more substantive EU framework setting minimum requirements and obligations to create a semblance of fairness.
Despite varying policy frameworks a number of what can be considered best practices inside MORE participating countries. What is interesting is that many of these practices appear to be related to the area of agriculture and agri-tourism, somewhat stereotypical of rural environments. As well, they tend to be private initiatives rather than policy-level interventions. What appears to be lacking are mechanisms to transfer best practices related to the multifunctionality of women in rural environments across the EU. This would help leverage the positive things that are happening while helping to avoid undesired consequences.
The training needs related to the multifunctionality of rural women were found to, naturally, be varied given the number of different activities they are involved in and are responsible for within their communities. What has been identified across the countries is that, apart from the general training (formal and informal) offered at the country level, targeted training related specifically to the multifunctional needs of rural women is quite absent despite some pockets of activity in some countries. What is clear is that many of the activities are fragmented and primarily focused on building agrarian knowledge as opposed to the fundamentals of entrepreneurship including digital transformation. There exists a dynamic need to much more effectively, and directly, understand the needs of rural women from a holistic perspective and tailor training to their circumstances. This would allow the gearing of such training towards their personal future success as well as that of their communities.
What has been identified in terms of co-creation activities is a lack of initiatives and activities specifically aimed at rural women. Co-creation, together with community hubs, is intended to shape new and innovative ways of improving education and the participation of citizens, particularly women, in rural areas of the EU. It involves building relationships between stakeholder groups and sharing of knowledge and resources for mutual benefit. In the case of rural development, which is characterised by the collaborative economy, associations, and cooperatives, having a space such as a community hub makes it possible to promote synergies between all the parties involved, boosting the development of the rural environment.