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Género y ruralidad en Andalucía: Un diagnóstico regional

  • Lina Gálvez Muñoz
  • Mauricio Matus López

RESUMEN: En el presente artículo se analizan las condiciones de vida de las mujeres rurales andaluzas con base en cuatro aspectos: características de la ruralidad, precariedad económica, invisibilidad del trabajo y satisfacción general. Los datos primarios corresponden a una encuesta realizada por el Instituto Andaluz de la Mujer en el año 2008. Los resultados indican que las mujeres rurales disfrutan mayoritariamente de niveles de satisfacción positivos. No obstante, se perciben importantes problemas relacionados con la carencia de infraestructuras y la invisibilidad del trabajo doméstico y de cuidados y del trabajo de mercado. ABSTRACT: The objective of this article is to analyse the standards of living of rural women in the region of Andalusia, Spain. The article examines the scope of the concept of rurality in relation to development policies, the personal and family economic situation of rural women, the double invisibility of their work (both market work and non-remunerated domestic and care work) and their satisfaction regarding their lives and the places they live in. For this purpose we exploit the microdata of a survey conducted by the Instituto Andaluz de la Mujer in 2008 on more than two thousand women. The analysis is undertaken from two complementary perspectives: by comparing Andalusian rural women according to different characteristics (using the data of the survey), and by comparing these women with women and men living in Spanish rural areas. In the first section of the article it was deemed necessary to review the concept of rurality due to the fact that both the sample and the scope of the study vary according to this concept. In general, statistical sources use a concept that is delimited mainly by the size of the population, while in economic terms it is the connection with the main agricultural or stockbreeding activity that is taken as a reference. However, in this study, the scope of rurality is based on the scope of rural development policies, which affect a much higher percentage of the population than the two previous conditions. According to this criterion it is possible to establish that 26.9 percent of the women residing in Andalusia live in rural areas. The second important point to be analysed in this work was the economic situation of these women. By using data corresponding to the whole of Andalusia, it is possible to conclude that rural women live (with or without men) in poor households in a greater proportion than women in urban areas. The same occurs when the situation of rural women in Andalusia is compared with that of the rural population in the whole of Spain: in Spain, the households in which women live have higher monthly incomes than those in Andalusia. It is also important to add that 24.6 percent of the Andalusian rural women admitted to having low or very irregular incomes. Thus, it is not strange that 68.2 percent of them have no savings capacity at all, something that constrains future wealth estimates. In the third section, the article analyses the invisibility of women’s work. On the one hand, it reveals that the statistical methodology normally used to classify people’s work does not allow visualising an important part of the market work done by women, many of whom participate in agricultural activities (and also in the services sector) without their involvement being acknowledged as a job. The estimations of this study are similar to those of works taking the national territory as a basis of analysis and establish that the activity rate of Andalusian rural women reaches 62.9 percent while their employment rate is set at 43.7 percent, despite the low diversification of their jobs. On the other hand, the concept itself of work as job does not allow considering the non-remunerated domestic and care work done by these women (whether they participate or not in the labour market), something that puts them at a disadvantage with respect to men, at the same time it overloads their daily activity without granting them the corresponding social acknowledgement. Finally, the fourth section of this work analyses the satisfaction of Andalusian rural women with life in general and, particularly, with the villages they live in. Generally speaking, the results of this analysis match those of other studies and to a certain extent support the concept of “rural idyll”. Up to 65.7 percent of Andalusian rural women declare to be quite or very satisfied with their lives in their villages. Women with a higher education level and those with steady jobs are the ones showing greater satisfaction, although most of them express medium/high levels of it. With regard to the issues pointed out by the women interviewed as the main problems of living in a rural environment, two of them deserve to be underlined: unemployment (56.8 percent) and the lack of cultural and leisure activities and equipments (34.1 percent). For the interpretation of these results it is required to take into consideration that the survey was made at the start of a severe employment crisis in Spain and Andalusia. Nevertheless, back then the employment crisis was just beginning and has persisted until 2012, when unemployment affects as much as 31.2 percent of the Andalusian population. This way, the preoccupation reflected in the survey was related to the outbreak of this crisis, but also to the structure and the reduced dimensions of rural labour markets. In what concerns the lack of cultural and leisure infrastructures and activities, the results of this work are also similar to those of national studies. It seems that this is a particularly relevant problem in rural municipalities with a considerable weight on the well-being of their inhabitants, particularly in the case of women, who have less mobility and lower incomes than men and, consequently, fewer opportunities to travel and benefit from alternative leisure activities in nearby villages, towns or capital cities. Finally, it is necessary to insist on the importance of keeping up the production of data and analyses regarding the Andalusian rural environment and, particularly, the women living in rural areas. The efforts made by the different administrations in the fields of equality and regional development demand the continuous evaluation of their policies, something that becomes difficult without the generation of primary data and quality analyses.

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Article provided by Universidades Públicas de Andalucía in its journal Revista de Estudios Regionales.

Volume (Year): 02 (2012)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 195-218

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Handle: RePEc:rer:articu:v:02:y:2012:p:195-218
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