Rural Exchange

Celebrating women in Rural Research

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Celebrating women in Rural Research

As part of International Women's Day 2024 we wanted to share the work of female researchers at the Rural Policy Centre! Jane Atterton and Ana Vuin, current RPC researchers, and Alexa Green, a previous RPC researcher, have been recognised among others in Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutions (SEFARI) for their work.

The Rural Policy Centre's Dr. Ana Vuin is part of a project bringing together female researchers, policymakers, and community practitioners across Scotland, Sweden, Norway, and Canada as part of the Scottish Government Arctic Connections fund. Working with colleagues Dr. Jayne Glass, at Uppsala University, and Dr. Bregje van Vellen at Lund University, the network aims to share knowledge about how best to support rural women during the transition to net zero in the Arctic region.

Rural economies are undergoing significant changes and facing unique challenges and opportunities as part of the transition to net zero. However, research tends to focus on traditionally male-dominated industries, think oil workers, agriculture, or peatland restoration. We know that economies will be restructured, with implications for female employment traditionally in insecure, low paid forms of work, especially in rural areas where women are key contributors to communities. 

This knowledge network, about, for, and by women, aims to shed more light on themes of a just transition and clean energy, rural development and wellbeing, and gender equality through collaboration, knowledge sharing, and capacity building.

You can read more in our report "Supporting rural women in Arctic low carbon transitions: a knowledge network" and hear Ana talking about the work of the knowledge network in the SRUC podcast.

You might also be interested in this work Exploring the gender pay gap in rural Scotland. This research was undertaken by Rural Policy Centre researchers in 2019 beginning to explore reasons which might explain differences between rural and urban gender pay gaps. This issue was also explored further in our 2023 Rural and Islands Insights Report.

We will continue to share more work by the RPC team on this theme. For instance Ana recently hosted a webinar "Shaping Shores: The Influence of Women in Island Societies" as part of a series of webinars funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Ana reflects,

"My interest in research focusing on women in various spheres of rural life organically emerged from my previous work. A theme which kept emerging was the underlying impact of women's presence in rural and island communities, whether it was through economic, social, or some other activity, and the implications these had on the wider community. I believe the role of women in rural and island communities should be further recognised and supported in their role in improving communities. I was pleased to present the findings from my research on the contributions of women in-migrants to isolated islands in Croatia at this event providing opportunities for cross country learning." 

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