This project aims to foster civil and cooperative participation among women farmers from inland countryside of Portugal, through their empowerment, so as to contribute to their social visibility and enhancing equality between women and men. It is consensually acknowledged that women’s participation in economic growth is strategically in line with EU2020’s goals, and that their role in rural areas and in agriculture is of fundamental importance.
Nevertheless, these women are not properly represented, neither in official data nor in civil society, a fact which points to their actual vulnerability, namely in what concerns gender inequality, economic dependency and lack of agency in local organisations. This project’s aim is to tackle such issues, by stimulating women farmers’ active citizenship, social participation and visibility, in an effort to build a more democratic and equal society.
The intervention-oriented project is based on the Theory of Change, a methodology which carries participation in its core. Designed as a replicable pilot, this project will take place in a series of local meetings and empower sessions in two Portuguese counties – São Pedro do Sul and Sabugal –, which will address technical, personal development and organizational subjects vis-à-vis the women’s identified needs, as diagnosed in the field through inquiries and participative focus groups. In the same way, the participants will have an active voice throughout the entire implementation of the project, in direct collaboration with the national and international partner organisations.
Simultaneously, several actions will be put in place to target a broader public, such as local technicians, the local community and civil society in general, in order to raise awareness to women farmers’ fundamental role. To achieve it, and to guarantee the project’s sustainability and continuity, a complete communication and dissemination plan will be developed.