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Gender role flexibility and smallholder survival


  • Constantina Safilios-Rothschild


Pluriactivity is the usual survival strategy adopted by smallholders. This strategy is effective when it is accompanied by considerable gender role flexibility that allows the combination of men's and women's farm work and farm management contributions. Interviews with 296 smallholders in rural Greece showed that the most adaptive survival strategy is adopted when pluriactive male partners legally transfer the farmer status to their wife by transferring land ownership and/or the farm management to her. The large majority of these women become integrated in the agricultural occupation both at the institutional and the farm level, their integration indicating a high degree of gender role flexibility within the farm household. Such a high degree of gender role flexibility, however, is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for farm survival. It is the official institutional recognition of women's farmer status that constitutes the determining factor for farm survival.

Suggested Citation

  • Constantina Safilios-Rothschild, 2003. "Gender role flexibility and smallholder survival," International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(2), pages 187-200.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijarge:v:2:y:2003:i:2:p:187-200

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    Cited by:

    1. Ezeh, C.I. & Anyiro, Chidozie Onyedikachi & Ehiemere, I.O. & Obioma, N.Q., 2012. "Gender Issues on Poverty Alleviation Programmes in Nigeria; the Case of the National Fadama 1 Development Project in Abia State, Nigeria," AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Economics and Management, vol. 4(3), September.


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