Gender, generations and equality in farming in Switzerland (AgriGenre)


Economic developments have changed farming profoundly. This project investigates changes in gender relations and intergenerational relations and examines the factors that foster the emergence of new, more egalitarian family forms. The findings will be compared to studies on other small family businesses.

Project description (completed research project)

In the last 30 years radical changes in the political and economic framework of agriculture have changed the (re)production conditions of farms. Agricultural policy and legal regulations have had different effects on women and men and on the images of masculinity and femininity. The production and reproduction sphere in the agricultural sector show various forms of organisation with regard to the different roles of women and men and also the different roles of generations.


The researchers are focussing on three levels:

First, they will take stock of government agricultural policies and the corresponding legal regulations of the last 30 years and investigate whether the issue of equal opportunity was considered and to what extent this is reflected in the distribution of public funds. They will examine whether and how regulations in inheritance law, criteria for the granting of direct payments and the possibility of attending retraining courses and programmes have affected women and men differently.

At the second level, the researchers will examine farms and how they organise the production and reproduction areas. They will focus on the division of labour between men and women and between generations and identify special features of the change in gender roles. At the same time, they will investigate femininity and masculinity concepts and how they differ.

At the third level, the researchers will study the different ways of life and social practices on farms in a period of radical change. They will identify factors that foster the rise of new and perhaps more egalitarian relations between women and men and different generations.

Original title

Genre, générations et égalité en agriculture: transformations des configurations familiales et des représentations de la masculinité et de la féminité

Project leader(s)

  • Dr. Yvan Droz, Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement (IHEID), Universität Genf
  • Dr. Fenneke Reysoo, IHEID, Universität Genf
  • Valérie Miéville-Ott, Association suisse pour le développement de l’agriculture et de l’espace rural (AGRIDEA), Lausanne
  • Ruth Rossier, Forschungsanstalt Agroscope, Reckenholz-Tänikon
  • Nadine Boucherin, IHEID, Universität Genf (2010-2011)
  • Federica Manfredi, AGRIDEA, Lausanne (2010-2011)
  • Dr. Sandra Contzen, Hochschule für Agrar-, Forst- und Lebensmittelwissenschaften (HAFL), Zollikofen (2012-2013)
  • Dr. Jérémie Forney, HAFL, Zollikofen (2012-2013)



Further information on this content


Dr. Yvan Droz Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement (IHEID) Rue Rothschild 20 1211 Genf 21 +41 22 908 45 11

Products of the project