WOMEN'S CONTRIBUTION TO RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN CROATIA: ROLES, PARTICIPATION AND OBSTACLES
Unequal access to formal employment, decision-making power and social prestige can lead to vulnerabilities and social exclusion especially in rural areas. Feminist researchers and advocates for women assert that the preservation of agriculture, family farming and diverse rural culture in particular depend on the empowerment and participation of women (Hoff 1992, p. 79). In this paper, the authoress attempts to evaluate rural/farm women's position and the extent of their vulnerability and social exclusion in an area of Slavonia in the eastern part of Croatia. Specifically, she uses interview and fieldwork data to identify and elaborate their roles, participation in decision-making, and the obstacles/constraints that rural women face in these rural communities to evaluate the extent of their contribution to rural development. Further, it is hery intention to explore if rural women represent an untapped resource in rural spaces that would contribute to rural development and raise the quality of life in these areas.
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