RURAL WOMEN IN THE PROCESS OF ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION IN POLAND
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Rural women in Poland are characterised by specific features which, in a large measure, are the result of multifunctional roles that they play in their families, households and farms. These specific features are also attributable to the special character of village communities, whose significance diminished due to industrialisation and urbanisation processes but which has been recently assuming a new dimension in the changed social and economic conditions in Poland. The multifunctionality of roles fulfilled by rural women has its source in many-sided ties linking them in a different degree to work on a farm. Rural woman perform duties of vocational character, render services to their families, are socially active outside their households and ever more frequently engage in ventures that allow them to earn additional money (for example, they offer accommodation to and cook for holidaymakers, render services to other farms and independently carry out various economic activities). Housework done by rural women covers a wide range of duties - from cooking, storage and processing of food, washing, cleaning, choosing and arranging furniture and equipment at their homes and keeping them tidy - to raising children, making decisions concerning the functioning and organisation of households. The period of economic transformation in Poland has led to modifications both in the roles fulfilled by rural women and in their mutual relations, which sometimes showed disharmony caused by restrictions preventing them from fulfilling individual functions and tasks in a satisfying way.
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