Gender, Diversification and Family Farming in the Netherlands

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As a result of the crisis in agriculture in Europe, many farm families try to find extra sources of income that allow them to continue farming. Women play an important role, especially in starting up new on-farm businesses, but also in finding off-farm paid work. We conducted semi-structured interviews in the Netherlands between 1995 and 2001 with 79 farmwomen engaged in new economic activities, focused on their motives, strategies and experiences during the process. The findings demonstrate that women shape their entrance into off-farm work or an on-farm business around the needs of the family and the farm. In order to accommodate to the idea of a good mother and farm wife, women are ready to shoulder the triple burden of farm, family and extra income generation and to accept low wages, stress and lack of time off. Thus, women not only reconfirm the existing conservative gender system but also contribute to its perpetuation. But they are also satisfied about the possibility of realizing their personal ambition and about the respect and recognition they finally receive. In addition many women experience a greater sense of ownership of the farm business, as they now contribute more visibly to its survival
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCulturally-Sensitive Models of Gender in Family Business: A Compendium using the GLOBE paradigm
EditorsV. Gupta, N. Levenburg, L.L. Moore, J. Motwani, T.V. Schwartz
Place of PublicationHuderabad, India
PublisherThe Icfai University Press
Number of pages272
ISBN (Print)9788131412695
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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