Unequal living conditions and a lack of prospects are causing young and better educated people, including many young women, to leave their rural region of origin. The associated "brain drain" will become even more visible in the coming years. In some places, there may also be shifts in regional gender proportions. For many, often well-educated women, returning to or moving into rural regions is a challenge, especially with regard to employment, social environment and integration, as well as independent living.
Within the scope of this project, factors and framework conditions for vital rural areas in the sense of living social organisms are analysed from a gender-specific perspective. Motives and causes for the increased migration of young women from peri-urban regions will be identified and everyday conditions and existing structural disadvantages will be examined. What conditions are needed to ensure that the quality of life for women of all age groups in rural regions is such that the prospects of staying and returning increase? How do women deal with their everyday conditions and existing structural disadvantages in their region? In which innovative solutions and processes of rural development are they involved and what potential for change do they have in the field of social and rural innovations and in the development of new business fields? How do they fare in terms of re-entering the labour market, working together and networking with a wide range of cooperation partners, creating income and employment opportunities close to home and strengthening social cohesion in the villages? Of particular interest here is how the diverse and indispensable services of women can be used as endogenous resources for the sustainable and dynamic development of rural areas.
In 2021, the 46 transcribed narrative interviews were coded using the MAXQDA analysis programme and work began on contextualising the large amount of verbal data. Due to the project team's involvement in other short-term projects, there were delays in contextualising and analysing the verbal data. This analysis work will be continued and categories will be formed that are oriented towards the everyday lifestyle and biographical background of the respondents. In autumn 2022, the results of the project will be discussed and jointly reflected upon in a "dialogue round" with selected experts. The results will be published in the form of a research report.
The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022.