Skip to main content
Rural Vision
News article11 April 2023Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy1 min read

FLIARA, GRASS CEILING & SWIFT: Supporting women-led innovation in rural areas

We welcome FLIARA, GRASS CEILING and SWIFT, three recently launched projects funded by the European Union under Horizon Europe, to empower and enhance the role of women in rural life and agriculture through research, training, and policy development.

The three projects are funded in the context of the rural vision flagship research and innovation for rural communities with an overall budget of around EUR 9 million and also contribute to the flagship on enhancing social resilience and women in rural areas.

GRASS CEILING aims to empower rural women and increase the number of socio-ecological innovations led by women in agriculture, the rural economy and rural communities. The project will set up living labs in nine countries, train 72 rural women innovators, and establish a network-learning and innovation system. Through these living labs, researchers will analyse the current position of women in European agriculture and rural areas, understand the drivers and enablers for women-led innovations, and identify the barriers encountered and supports needed at the Member State and EU levels.

The FLIARA project aims to enhance the role of women in rural life, agriculture, and rural affairs. The project will develop more effective policy and governance frameworks that can support and enhance the capacity of women who live and work in these areas to contribute to it. Researchers will investigate women-led innovations on farms and in wider rural areas and carry out interviews with women leading farm innovations and exploring innovative practices in rural areas. The project will also establish Community of Practice networks and a Campaign of Visibility to highlight women as key innovation actors. The project will result in end-user ready resources, including policy proposals and practical tools supporting women-led innovation.

The SWIFT project aims to promote sustainable and inclusive development in rural areas of Europe by deploying women-led innovations in agriculture and advocating for gender equality from an intersectional, feminist, and human rights-based perspective. This is done through applied feminist innovation studies research to facilitate a change of framing in agriculture and address social realities that perpetuate inequalities.