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Women Farmers in Inland Areas (MAIs - Mulheres Agricultoras em Territórios do Interior) – External Evaluation



The MAIs project aims to increase the civic and associative participation of women farmers in inland regions by empowering them, making their social role more visible, and contributing to the promotion of gender equality (in line with the United Nations Charter, Agenda 2030 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). The target population of this project are women involved in family farming in the municipalities of São Pedro do Sul and Sabugal, as well as local technicians from both municipalities.

The proponent institution of the MAIs project is the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, with the following entities as partner institutions: Interdisciplinary Centre for Social Sciences; Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of Nova University of Lisbon; OIKOS – Cooperation and Development; Municipality of São Pedro do Sul; Municipality of Sabugal; Associação da Bio-Região (ABRE) of São Pedro do Sul; RURALIS – Institute for Rural and Regional Research.

National and European literature agree that that women's participation in economic growth is strategic for the EU2020 objectives, and that their role in rural areas and agriculture is central and important because of their capacity for innovation and diversification of activities; for being the driving force in maintaining, preserving and developing rural areas; for preserving memories and traditional knowledge, and for ensuring healthy food and nutrition. Most of these women, however, are invisible in agricultural statistics because they often do not see themselves as rural workers, are not registered with social security and do not own land (this role being assigned to men). As a result, these women are highly vulnerable, in particular in terms of gender inequality and economic dependence, which is compounded by their weak representation in local associations and decision-making positions.

In this context, the IS-UP acts as an external evaluator, with the task of assessing the results of the MAIs project. The external evaluation is coordinated by IS-UP researchers Cristina Parente and Natália Azevedo. Volunteer researchers Rita Correia Madeira, Catarina Duarte Pereira Figueiredo and Evelize Cristina Moreira participated in the external evaluation.

Timeline: May 2022-June 2023

Useful Links
Escola Superior Agrária do Instituto Politécnico de Viseu (Promotor)
NOVA/FCHUL, OIKOS, Munícipio de São Pedro do Sul, Município de Sabugal, RURALIS (entidades parceiras)
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto/Instituto de Sociologia da Universidade do Porto
Entidade de Financiamento
Instituto Politécnico de Viseu (FLUP/PS-CPS/2022-79283; subcontratação através do Mecanismo Financeiro do Espaço Económico Europeu - EEA Grants PT)
Global Amount:
Start Year
Ano de conclusão


Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto
Via Panorâmica, s/n
4150-564 Porto, Portugal

Phone: +351 226 077 132


Other Contacts




Ref. UIDP/00727/2020

Ref. UIDB/00727/2020