2. Empirical Background: Gender Equity and Social Innovation in Rural Areas
3. Materials and Methods
4.1. Miqqut Program by Ilitaqsiniq-Nunavut Literacy Council (“Ilitaqsiniq-NLC”)
4.2. Women Farmers Social Cooperative—South Tyrol, Italy
4.3. Economic Empowerment of Women in Deir el Ahmar-Lebanon
4.4. Argan Co-Operative of Rural Women, Morocco
4.5. Radanska Ruža Social Enterprise, Serbia
4.6. Summary of the Findings from the Case Studies
5.1. Intertwined Incremental, Institutional, and Disruptive Dimensions of Social Innovation
5.2. Reconstructive Social Innovation Cycles
5.2.1. Decisions to Act Leading to Reconfiguration
5.2.2. Deviating from the Status Quo Consisting of Discriminative Institutions and Norms
5.2.3. Impacts: New Normal
5.2.4. Incubation Loop and Maintenance Loop
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Name of the Social Innovation||“Miqqut” Programs by the Ilitaqsiniq Nunavut Literacy Council (Ilitaqsiniq-NLC)||“Learning, Growing, Living with Women Farmers” Social Cooperative||“Jana Al Ayadi” Cooperative Aiming for Economic Empowerment of Women||Afoulki Cooperative of Rural Women in MOROCCO||Radanska Ruža Social Enterprise Employing Marginalized Women|
|Location||Nunavut, Canada||South Tyrol, Italy||Deir El Ahmar, Lebanon||South Morocco, Morocco||Municipality of Lebane, South Serbia|
|Key challenges for rural women||Intergenerational and socio-psychological traumas from colonial developments, which are connected to losses of culture and tradition, identity confusion, domestic and other types of violence, addictions and breaking down of families. Lack of support with education and childcare, self-confidence issues, lack of housing, geographical isolation, sexism in male-dominated work sectors.||Economic dependency of women on male members in farm families, gendered roles on farms and unpaid work, lack of professionalization and of a specific role of women on farms, resulting in women taking care of many different tasks from child raising to household work, which do not entail strategic decision-making powers relating to family businesses, and patriarchal value structures.||Low levels of literacy, unemployment, male dominated businesses, patriarchal value structures and gender roles, and lack of recognition of women’s agency.||High unemployment and migration rates, poverty, low levels of literacy, subsistence family farming and non-wood forest products as a source of income.||Strong patriarchal gender roles and severe unemployment especially of women|
|Social innovation activities||Not-for-profit organization providing culturally relevant non-formal learning programs (e.g., in sewing) with embedded literacy and essential skills training||Social cooperative providing training program and organization of childcare service provision by women farmers on their farm according to nature pedagogy values.||Women led cooperative specialized in the production and marketing of local authentic products, employing local women.||Rural women’s cooperative created with the aim to improve the livelihoods of rural women through the valorization and commercialization of the Argan oil.||Social enterprise producing traditional agricultural added-value products employing marginalized women|
|Empirical materials||Participant observation in 2018–2019. Semi-structured interviews on this topic (n = 3), and on local women’s lives from various different perspectives (n = 50). Literature review (scientific literature, public/policy reports, national statistics, and grey literature). Social media screening||Semi-structured interviews (n = 11). Focus group (n = 1), Survey (n = 21). Field observations. Literature review (see [32,46,51]). Workshop for discussing of results from previous empirical work.||Field observations (regularly in the period 2017–2019)|
Unstructured interviews with members of the cooperative (n = 3) Participatory video; Workshop with members of the cooperative, local authorities and other stakeholders
|Structured Interviews (n = 5) semi-structured interview (n = 5)||Semi-structured interviews (n = 4). Document analysis focusing on grey literature. Media screening|
|The Social Innovation||Strengths||Weaknesses||Unique Aspects|
|“Miqqut” programs by the Ilitaqsiniq Nunavut Literacy Council (Ilitaqsiniq-NLC)||Opening opportunities for rural women to overcome marginalizing institutional settings in education and enhancing employment opportunities.||Initiatives not self-sufficient, but dependent on project-based funding||Connecting modern literacy with reviving cultural traditions to empower marginalized women and enhance intergenerational connectivity. Monitoring the impacts of the programs regularly|
|“Learning, growing, living with women farmers” social cooperative||Initiating the process of policy-making on social agriculture in the region; empowering women farmers in the decision-making process of the family farm, as their activity becomes part of the business strategy; increasing their awareness of doing a visible and valued job for the community||In some cases, women farmers are responsible for housekeeping, farming tasks and caring for their own children in addition to their new entrepreneurial activity. The case can be considered a clear example of the ongoing tension between farming tradition and modernization in mountain territories||Changing gender roles in decision-making processes at the micro level (farm), at the meso level (the community) and the provincial level|
|“Jana Al Ayadi” cooperative aiming for economic empowerment of women||Creating successful business employing marginalized women by enterprise producing and marketing agro-food products despite strong patriarchal gender roles||The success in the home village of the cooperative has been demonstrated, but in adjacent areas, social boundaries of male dominated markets and patriarchal cognitive frames remain||Extension of the business by the cooperative enabled smallholder producers to gain a fair space for marketing their products and connecting with the consumers, improve visibility and boost revenues|
|Afoulki cooperative of rural women in Morocco||Improving the living conditions of women by providing an enabling environment to gain a personal income and training opportunities, autonomy, and independence||Women are still mainly unpaid domestic workers and self-employed in subsistence farming||In 2018, the cooperative enlarged and became an umbrella network, for several other small cooperatives|
|Radanska Ruža social enterprise employing marginalized women||It targets especially disadvantaged and marginalized women, who find not only work and income at Radanska Ruža, but also a particularly appreciative social environment.||The initiative may be vulnerable due to high reliance on individual key actor||During an unexpected crisis, several crowdfunding campaigns were organized enabling continuance of the social enterprise|
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