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Gendered business activities in family farm forestry: From round wood delivery to health service

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The development of non-wood forest products and services has been put forward as a means for business diversification and development of rural areas. However, the well-documented male dominance in traditional family farm forestry (FFF) is considered to restrain women's involvement in forestry activities, and thus hamper new enterprising businesses. Given the gender structure in traditional forestry, it is hypothesised that women are more likely to engage in less traditional activities than men. Through a cluster analysis of data from the Swedish Farmers Association's member survey, typical combinations of forest-related business activities were identified. The representation of women and men as operational managers within each activity was assessed. Results show that traditional forestry is the main task for both male and female FFF owners, however, women engage more often than men in service-oriented business activities. The main conclusion is that the prevailing pattern on the labour market, with women predominately within service and care professions, seems to be reproduced within FFF businesses. The results are further discussed in relation to owner types and possible impact on FFF restructuring and rural development.

Keywords: Business activities; cluster analysis; family farm forests; gender; transformative agents

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2013

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