Gender relations in Rural Spaces and its Effects on Women’s participation, a Comparative Study on Moreedan Rural District of Langerud City in Gilan Province and Rural District of Hooly from Paveh city in Kermanshah Province



Today, the mentality should be revised that a village is an atmosphere bounded in a special place with a set of economic and geography circumstances. A better understanding of rural features requires a deeper understanding of our rural areas where social relations and gender relations are well understood. Rural areas, like other geographic areas, are highly generized spaces and all behaviors and actions reflect attitudes, beliefs and opinions concerning the status, roles and responsibilities of both sexes. The role of women in Iran has been a relatively traditional one due to the strong cultural customs. The process of Development has caused many changes in social relations in rural areas. These changes are more significant in women's role and status.

This Research relies on gender analysis in order to identify the impact of geographic areas of villages on the attitude towards women and their participation. The method used in this research is descriptive-survey research and data is gathered through questionnaires. Reliability of the Questionnaire was confirmed with Cronbach's alpha that was calculated 0.88 for women's participation, 0.93 for men’s attitudes towards women's working and 0.90 for women's attitudes towards their working. The statistical society were men and women living in rural villages and rural districts of Moreedan rural district of Langerood county located in the North of Iran and Hooly rural district of Paveh in Central Iran. These districts have different types of livelihood, such that Moreedan rural district of Langerood county located in the North of Iran which has an agricultural base, relies on Rice and Tea cultivation and Hooly rural district of Paveh in Central Iran has nomadism as their main livelihood.
From the total statistical population, 124 family from Moreidan in Langeroud Township and 106 households from Hooly rural district in Paveh were selected randomly by Cochran Formula.
With the understanding that a diversity of standpoints often exist with regard to the effects of a geographical space, an effort was made to capture input from a broad range of places and groups, including villagers of varied ages and both genders, and with different occupations, concerning attitudes towards women's participation. In addition, many informal interviews and discussions were held with the residents concerning their feelings about women's participation and their status in the family and the society. In addition, on-site observations were conducted of people's daily activities.
The overall purpose of the research was to elicit the attitudes of rural communities towards a variety of issues related to their opinion about women's duties and rights and their experience of involvement in economic and social activities. The questionnaire was primarily based upon a 64 item, 5-point Likert scale, which addressed the following themes linked to the alleged challenges of gender relations:
_ Attitudes towards gender duties and rights and their relationship with the involvement of rural women in rural activities,
_ Explore the effect of the geographical factor on the community’s attitudes towards women's participation in economic and social activities,
_ The relationship between women's self consciousness and their motivation for attending the skill training classes and also between men’s willingness for women's participation in different activities in rural areas, and
_ The relevance of the cultural and socio-economic factors in successful participation of women in the two different geographical spaces.

Test results and analysis in SPSS showed that there is a significant difference between women's attitudes in Langerood and Paveh towards their social rights and duties. Also there is a significant positive relationship between positive attitudes of women towards themselves, Women’s willingness to participate in training classes, willingness and positive attitude of men towards women with the Variable of women’s participation. In addition, a significant difference between the positive attitudes of men towards women’s activities in the two cities was seen and this leads to a significant difference in women's participation in social and economic activities in Moreedan and Hooly rural Moreedan and Hooly rural districts.

So we can conclude that the positive opinion of men about women's duties and rights as well as the worth of their daily work has a great effect on successful participation and partnership of women in the rural areas. Thus we suggest that for all gender-based programs, it is necessary to prepare the rural space and change the gender relations through training and improve men’s awareness. Considering the geographical differences between the studied areas leading to two different types of livelihood, the hypothesis of this study based on differences in attitudes towards women’s participation and work was confirmed.