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Reconstructive Social Innovation Cycles in Women-Led Initiatives in Rural Areas

Cultural Anthropology, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
Institute for Regional Development, Eurac Research, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry (TESAF), University of Padova, 35020 Legnaro, Italy
Institute of Forest, Environment and Natural Resource Policy, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), 1180 Vienna, Austria
European Forest Institute, Forest Policy Research Network, 1180 Vienna, Austria
European Forest Institute, Mediterranean Facility (EFIMED), 08025 Barcelona, Spain
Forest Science and Technology Center of Catalonia (CTFC), European Forest Institute, 25280 Solsona, Spain
Economics and Social Sciences Research Unit, Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland
SEEDS-Int, Centre Ivoire, Sin el Fil 2707 5501, Lebanon
FAO Regional Office for North Africa, Tunis 1000, Tunisia
Cooperative Research, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (IAMZ), 50059 Zaragoza, Spain
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group, The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David Gibbs
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1231;
Received: 19 December 2020 / Revised: 19 January 2021 / Accepted: 21 January 2021 / Published: 25 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Social Innovation on Sustainable Development of Rural Areas)
Social innovations can tackle various challenges related to gender equity in rural areas, especially when such innovations are initiated and developed by women themselves. We examine cases located in rural areas of Canada, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, and Serbia, where women are marginalized by gender roles, patriarchal values, male dominated economy and policy, and lack of opportunities for education and employment. Our objective is to analyze five case studies on how women-led social innovation processes can tackle gender equity related challenges manifested at the levels of everyday practice, institutions, and cognitive frames. The analyses are based on interviews, workshops, literature screening, and are examined via the qualitative abductive method. Results summarize challenges that rural women are facing, explore social innovation initiatives as promising solutions, and analyze their implications on gender equity in the five case studies. Based on our results we propose a new concept: reconstructive social innovation cycle. It refers to is defined as cyclical innovation processes that engage women via civil society initiatives. These initiatives reconstruct the existing state of affairs, by questioning marginalizing and discriminative practices, institutions, and cognitive frames that are often perceived as normal. The new concept helps with to assessing the implications that women-led social innovations have for gender equity. View Full-Text
Keywords: adaptive cycle; empowerment; gender equity; processes; rural women; qualitative analysis; UN SDG 5; marginalized areas adaptive cycle; empowerment; gender equity; processes; rural women; qualitative analysis; UN SDG 5; marginalized areas
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sarkki, S.; Dalla Torre, C.; Fransala, J.; Živojinović, I.; Ludvig, A.; Górriz-Mifsud, E.; Melnykovych, M.; Sfeir, P.R.; Arbia, L.; Bengoumi, M.; Chorti, H.; Gramm, V.; López Marco, L.; Ravazzoli, E.; Nijnik, M. Reconstructive Social Innovation Cycles in Women-Led Initiatives in Rural Areas. Sustainability 2021, 13, 1231.

AMA Style

Sarkki S, Dalla Torre C, Fransala J, Živojinović I, Ludvig A, Górriz-Mifsud E, Melnykovych M, Sfeir PR, Arbia L, Bengoumi M, Chorti H, Gramm V, López Marco L, Ravazzoli E, Nijnik M. Reconstructive Social Innovation Cycles in Women-Led Initiatives in Rural Areas. Sustainability. 2021; 13(3):1231.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sarkki, Simo, Cristina Dalla Torre, Jasmiini Fransala, Ivana Živojinović, Alice Ludvig, Elena Górriz-Mifsud, Mariana Melnykovych, Patricia R. Sfeir, Labidi Arbia, Mohammed Bengoumi, Houda Chorti, Verena Gramm, Lucía López Marco, Elisa Ravazzoli, and Maria Nijnik. 2021. "Reconstructive Social Innovation Cycles in Women-Led Initiatives in Rural Areas" Sustainability 13, no. 3: 1231.

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