9629 - Gender Transformations in Brazilian and Chilean Countryside

This paper analyses the shift in gender relations in rural areas as a result of the restructuring of the economy and agrarian policies, advances in legislation, the incorporation of feminist thought and the organisation of women`s and rural social movements in Latin America. Focusing on Brazil and Chile, this study examines how the incorporation of women into the economy and their exclusion/inclusion from land rights has shaped gender relations, in which legislation, culture and resistance have played a crucial role. Based on the literature and on empirical research carried out in both countries in 2011, this study demonstrates that women`s integration into the formal economy and their greater access to land has created the conditions for gender transformations. Nevertheless, the patriarchal gender regimes (Jacobs, 2010; Walby, 1997) have still constrained women`s agency, reinforcing traditional gender roles. This research considers that gender transformations, as historical processes, affect women differently according to their class position, ethnicity, generation and within different household forms. It concludes that the system of gender relations is changing in the countryside. It is shifting from one which was based on women being basically restricted to the domestic sphere, to one in which women are present in the public arena as political actors, with gender interests. However, despite visible changes, women are still frequently segregated into unequal positions, or constrained by the burden of ‘women’s domestic roles’, which are reproduced by gendered ideologies and habitus .

Keywords: Gender transformations, agrarian issues, social movements, Brazil, Chile

Author: Schwendler, Sônia Fátima (Queen Mary, University of London, United Kingdom/ Federal University of Paraná, Brazil, United Kingdom/Ver Königr)


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