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Women in Hungarian Agriculture Say Barriers to Equality Persist

Analysis

The results of a study by international agricultural company Corteva Agriscience demonstrate that further actions are needed to overcome gender discrimination in the Hungarian agricultural industry and uncover the full potential of the farms run by women.

 

The aim of Corteva's Women in Agriculture research is to map the current situation, challenges, and priorities of women in Hungarian agriculture and highlight areas where all stakeholders in the industry need to come together to support women in agriculture and raise awareness of the importance of their role and the discrimination they face.

The study was based on answers from more than 200 respondents aged between 18 and 60 working in agriculture about their work experience in the industry, factors influencing their career choice, and advantages and disadvantages. Gender equality in agriculture and the opportunities for women to develop the agricultural sector were also revealed.

Thus, 70% of the respondents consider that there is a problem of discrimination against women in agriculture, however, a majority say discrimination has not increased over the past 10 years. As a positive opinion, 55% think that discrimination could disappear in the future, with 32% seeing this happening within a decade and 21% seeing it happening within the next two decades.

About 84% of respondents are proud to work in agriculture because they like the job, it provides knowledge and skills and supports their family. According to respondents, the most common values of working in agriculture are job satisfaction (67%); gaining new, unique skills and knowledge (30%); and meeting the expectations of their families (26%). As a disadvantage of women's farming respondents identified difficulty in finding a work-life balance (27%), lack of sufficient earnings (27%), and potential health issues due to hardworking farming (22%).

When evaluating the specific opportunities for men and women in agriculture, more than 60% of respondents share the view that women have fewer career opportunities than men. More than half of respondents noted that women working in agriculture have less income, less free time, and fewer opportunities to access financing compared to men.

The survey demonstrates that initiatives to support gender equality can play a huge role in eliminating gender discrimination in agriculture in the future. Women who face discrimination need more support and public awareness to successfully contribute to feeding the world's population and to the sustainable development of agriculture.

"Corteva is committed to supporting the development and empowerment of women in agriculture as an integral part of the company's 2030 sustainability strategy. The survey highlights the real problem of discrimination in the industry and raises awareness of the need for change. And we have to hear the voices of women to learn how we can overcome those barriers – by creating an attractive image of rural work and modern women in agriculture in the media; creating events for women agribusiness owners; business consulting, developing specific programs to attract women to agriculture, introducing programs to support small agribusinesses; and providing access to training in new agricultural technologies” said Sergii Kharin, Corteva Agriscience leader in Hungary.

"In line with this feedback, Corteva will continue to develop programs of women’s empowerment, such as TalentA, and encourage the entire food chain stakeholders to consider uncovered potential of female farms for future agriculture prosperities. Ultimately, it is hoped that the actions that may be taken as a result of this (and other) studies in the field will enable each society to find ways to make progress toward gender equality and empower women in agriculture everywhere in the world," he added.

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