Rural women frequently face unique challenges and often go unnoticed in farming and in rural business. The FLIARA project aims to reverse this rural reality, by empowering rural women, promoting gender equality and highlighting the innovative practices women undertake and often lead in farming and rural areas. To help us along this path, the FLIARA project partners have worked collaboratively to ‘co-create’ a roadmap that guides us in understanding complex ideas around rural gender issues. This road map or conceptual framework helps us formulate key questions around the project, design our case studies and collect and analyse any data collected and future visions for women in rural areas. The co-creation of the project road map occurred in the first six months of the project, with partners drawing on concepts which were initially outlined in the project’s proposal.
Once the project was up and running, each partner came forward with the concepts they felt would provide a foundation for understanding such ideas as, rural gender inequality, sustainability or innovation. Following a ‘lot of discussion’ and some ‘interesting debates’, the project partners settled on six key concepts which will lay the foundation for the FLIARA conceptual framework. All of these concepts are interlinked and the relationship between each concept is identified and highlighted how each concept relates to the next.
As a starting point, the team explored key ideas connecting gender and the rural, while also mapping out gender roles, stereotypes and gender diversity. Alongside these concepts the partners also connected innovation, sustainability and resilience as important ideas that will help us understand issues important to the FLIARA project. Mapping our FLIARA project also allowed us to examine how governance and policy are related to the above concepts and in turn how they all connect and interconnect to help us understand the issues, challenges and opportunities for rural women engaged in innovative practices.
FLIARA: Ideas to Help Us Understand RURAL Women and Innovative Practices