Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ireland: Women & Farming

From the Irish Times:
WOMEN ARE no longer prepared to be “invisible” in Irish farming, Maireád Lavery, the head of the Agri-Aware organisation, said yesterday.

She was speaking to about 600 attending the Women in Agriculture conference in Athlone, which discussed both the role played by women on farms and areas of concern, including property rights, inheritance and divorce in relation to farmland.

Although women carried out up to 25 per cent of work on farms, there were few registered female farm owners, and representation in the farm organisations was very low and did not reflect the realities, Ms Lavery said.

Dr Maureen Gaffney, psychologist and writer, said Fortune 500 research on top US companies had shown when women were involved in senior management, companies performed much better than where there was little or no female involvement.

This research, she said, pointed the way for Irish agriculture, where women’s involvement at the highest levels would generate more profitability and better all-round structures. There was a clear opportunity now for more involvement by women.

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