Institutional Capacity Building for Rural Women's Empowerment in Austria (2004)

What are the reasons for the fact that 30 percent of the Austrian farms are managed by women and only 14.6 percent of the representatives in the chambers of agriculture are female? This is only one example of the under-representation of women in the most official political bodies and interest-group bodies in Austria. In the following the current situation and conditions for institutional capacity building for rural women’s empowerment will be explained. As a first step, the extent of the integration of women in political bodies on national, Länder and local level will be analysed and the stage of implementing gender mainstreaming will be described. Further, the problems and challenges with respect to building institutional capacity for rural women in Austria will be discussed and best practice examples will be presented. Finally, recommendations are made for an upgrading of the institutional representation and the empowerment of women in rural areas.