Women in Rural France: Mediators or Agents of Change? 1
This chapter argues that not only have women been part of the changes affecting French rural society, but they have contributed to the development of a culturally more urbanized and economically liberalized French society. It assesses the complex nature of their position in social, cultural and economic terms, and analyzes to what extent their contribution remains original and integral to the numerous changes affecting French rural society. The chapter provides the experiences of women in rural life. It shows that women are ready to play a major role, but they can only do so if they are given opportunities and conditions to generate projects and ideas. The uniqueness of women's position will be based not only on their role as mediators or agents of change, but also on the development and recognition of their own identity, specific competencies and qualities. Several explanations could be advanced to explain women's lack of visibility in the sphere of French agriculture.