chapter  5
20 Pages

Feminization Trends in Agriculture: Theoretical Remarks and Empirical Findings from Germany

WithHeide Inhetveen, Mathilde Schmitt

The changed role of women in agriculture had been registered in agricultural sociology, and a new term was developed to describe the phenomenon; namely, the feminization of agriculture. The relative increase in the percentage of women, from 36 per cent to 44 per cent of full-time workers, and from 60 per cent to 65 per cent of family members working part-time in 2001 indicates a trend toward feminization. In Germany the contribution of female farmers to the income of the families and to sustainable improvement in the quality of life in rural regions was explicitly mentioned in the Nutritional and Agricultural Policy Report. The de-institutionalization hypothesis for gender differences and their reproduction through action and symbolic levels needs qualitative verification in many areas of society. The theoretical frame was based on the theory of creativity of action developed by Hans Joas.