BAB 020/19: The role of women in vivid rural areas

Initial situation

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. Returning or moving to rural regions is a challenge for many, often well-educated women, especially with regard to employment, social environment and integration as well as independent living.


In the context 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 are identified and everyday conditions and existing structural disadvantages are 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 a sustainable and dynamic development of rural areas.

Work 2023

In 2022, the 46 transcribed narrative interviews were coded and contextualised using the MAXQDA analysis programme. This analysis work will be continued and categories will be formed that are oriented towards the everyday lifestyle and biographical career of the interviewees. In May 2023, 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.


Project start: 01/2019
Project end: 12/2023

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Project Status


Project Leader


Mag.a Theresia OEDL-Wieser

Rural Sociology and Library


LOIBL, Elisabeth Elisabeth LOIBL

former employees

Agricultural, Environmental and Food Systems
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