Speaking at the Women & Agriculture conference in Killarney today (Wed) IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs Chair, Caroline Farrell said that a recent survey undertaken by the Association reveals that lack of time is the main barrier to women becoming involved in a farming organisation. 61% of respondents cited it as the main reason they did not get involved.
The survey, undertaken by the Association, sought feedback from people that live and work on farms across Ireland. The findings will inform the work of the IFA Diversity committee, which was established to increase women’s involvement in IFA. The survey builds a picture of the possible barriers to involvement and provides recommendations on how best to support women to get involved in the Association.
“It is encouraging to see that the important role that women play on Irish farms is recognised, with over 95% of the respondents valuing their contribution,” said Ms. Farrell.
She said that the results showed over half of the women surveyed would like to see more opportunities for women that wanted to get involved in the leadership of farming organisations, which clearly demonstrated the value of the work being undertaken by the committee.
“Women in agriculture are very busy, juggling family responsibilities, farm work, housework, off-farm employment and volunteer work but there are measures that need to be explored to enable more women to get involved,” said Ms. Farrell.
The IFA Diversity committee will be meeting with relevant stakeholders and focus groups in the coming weeks with the aim of presenting recommendations to IFA National Council at the end of 2018.