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

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Social innovations can tackle various challenges related to gender equity in rural areas, especially when such innovations are initiated and developed by women themselves. Researchers in this paper examine cases located in rural areas of Canada, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, and Serbia, where women are marginalised by gender roles, patriarchal values, male dominated economy and policy, and lack of opportunities for education and employment.

The objective is to analyse 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 summarise challenges that rural women are facing, explore social innovation initiatives as promising solutions, and analyse their implications on gender equity in the five case studies. Based on autrhors' results, researchers 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 marginalising 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.


Full reference

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. 2021. Reconstructive Social Innovation Cycles in Women-Led Initiatives in Rural AreasSustainability, 13, 1231. DOI: