Gendered rural transformation and peasant-workers: the case of the women of the greenhouse, western Anatolia, Turkey

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2020
Eren, Zeynep Ceren
The neoliberal re-structuring of global agri-food relations in rural Turkey has had devastating effects on small-producer households, who face the peasantry‘s loss of stature, decoupling from production, and migration. This also leads to a deepening of the category of peasant-workers and proletarianization. In line with this, rural women withdraw from production, while only a limited number replace their previous status as unpaid family laborer with paid labor. This study focuses on the laboring experiences and practices of peasant-worker women employed as waged labor in an agribusiness called the Greenhouse in the Bakırçay Basin (Western Anatolia, Turkey) from a feminist perspective. It aims to explore the patterns of the emerging gender labor regime on the basis of these women‘s own perspectives. The regime covers women‘s paid and unpaid labor at the Greenhouse, at home and in the fields. The niches the women create to transform and change their lives with reference to empowerment are also taken into account. In sum, this study argues that both the category of peasant-worker and the process of proletarianization is gendered.