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The participation of rural women in the growth of family income in northeastern Bahia

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CRUZ, Delzuita Santana [1], MOREIRA, Jailma dos Santos Pedreira [2]

CRUZ, Delzuita Santana. MOREIRA, Jailma dos Santos Pedreira. The participation of rural women in the growth of family income in northeastern Bahia. Revista Científica Multidisciplinar Núcleo do Conhecimento. Year 05, Ed. 10, Vol. 11, pp. 95-103. October 2020. ISSN: 2448-0959, Access link:


The realization of this work is part of the women’s movement in the countryside and it is a demonstration of the culture that increasingly contributes to the growth of the economy of families not only in the rural area, but also in the urban area. It shows the legitimacy of a mode of production little recognized in the rural environment that aims at the fall of paradigms and references about its own existence. This article’s main objective is to demonstrate the importance of women in carrying out activities that guarantee the livelihood of families and all those who depend directly or indirectly on this production, as well as an identity autonomy within the members themselves and their ways of life. They call themselves “rural women fighters”. Such women struggle in search of autonomous identities and to build their subjectivities, facing prejudices and social discrimination in the public spaces they occupy. This work was carried out in the year of 2020, through an exploratory research, through forms with questionnaires as an investigative tool applied to 50 women working in agriculture, being, therefore, possible to perceive that, not only women (mothers) but their daughters contribute to the production of activities in the field. They are young people between the ages of 10 and 15 years old. Therefore, it is necessary to reflect on the modes of production of female communities, directly focused on the life of rural women in search of family income growth, joining forces to fight prejudice and change the standards imposed by macho society, and guarantee the recognition of social equality and freedom to build their own livelihood.

Keywords: country woman, culture, production, modes of production.


In the panorama of cultural and social manifestations, while it is a cultural reality experienced by rural women in northeastern Bahia, Law No. 5,889, of June 8, 1973, in Art. 3 – says that “It is considered rural employer, for the purposes of this Law, the natural or legal person, owner or not, who exploits agro-economic activity, on a permanent or temporary basis, directly or through agents and with the help of employees ”, thinking thus, for having their own activities that result in the creativity and autonomy of individuals belonging to their own livelihood, what is expected is that these women are recognized in the social environment in which they are inserted and have equality through their productivity, guaranteeing public policies for insertion in the labor market. job. What happens, however, are actions aimed at limiting or preventing the advancement of women in the recognition of free exercise in their production by even their companions, as well as discrimination of their way of life by the macho society.

This research shows the legitimacy of a mode of production little recognized in the rural environment that aims at the fall of paradigms and references about its own existence. Concerned about producing autonomously and achieving their social space, these women come together always trying to show the need to build their own business and in a conceptual way. In this design, it becomes necessary to think of a methodology in an attempt to reach a conclusion through the reports of how the behavior and the modes of production of these people, who call themselves “Women fighters of the countryside”, occur. For this, to the way in which it is configured as a discursive moment, consequently situated in the field of the performance of these subjects, as well as an attitude of meaning that can provide several different interpretations. This analysis arises from the modes of production of the meanings of life in the face of a culture that is based on the conception of the subject of those people and what they aim to achieve. Based on data


The work and participation of rural women as a social subject brings a reflection regarding the struggles waged in the search for the construction of their history and the conquest for their space. The aim is to promote a reflection on women as relevant authors in the combination for the advancement of life in the countryside. These women seek new emergency directions about their claims, mainly for the right to land ownership and direct participation in local and / or regional agriculture.

During the realization of this research it was possible to perceive that, not only women (mothers) but their daughters contribute to the activities in the production of work in the field. These young women are between 10 and 15 years old. Some contribute by carrying water to supply the small cisterns, as well as taking care of the household chores and feeding the younger siblings. Others participate directly in activities in the fields such as plowing the land, planting and harvesting. We can consider that these young women, since childhood, already contribute to the family income, including seeking to reconcile with their studies. These girls, from an early age, struggle to be respected as rural workers and inserted in the social environment as protagonists of their own existence. This is a reality that needs a more extensive struggle.

In view of the studies, when reflecting on the production methods of the peasant women in the northeast of Bahia, it is necessary to observe the place where this scenario takes place, what is their destiny, and if it is having an effect on the proposals that are being presented, because according to Mcdowell (2000):

Spaces arise from power relations; power relations set the norms; and the rules define the limits, which are both social and spatial, because they determine who belongs to a place and who is / will be excluded, as well as the local situation of a given experience (MCDOWELL, 2000, p. 19).

Based on the author’s statement, it is understood that it is in this relationship between subject-space that they find themselves with regard to the field of social discussions through understanding in conflicting moments that impact daily decisions, even because it is observed in this space pointed out to women, that they do not distance themselves from each other, constantly dialogue in search of policies that bring them closer to the economy and work, transforming these environments into real spaces, very close to everyday life, since both the domestic economy and the solidarity are widely discussed in social movements. This is a cultural practice that, in order to advance people’s behavior in this context, requires struggle, persistence and determination. These are cultural practices that, according to Raymond Williams (2000), are not only descended from a differently formed social rule, but are also essential elements in their constitution. We understand, therefore, that culture inspires the growth of society, strengthening ties with economic policy, in an attempt to analyze in parallel with social factors. Thus, the meaning of this culture is performed based on the transformation of the subject, and with the meaning in which habits are applied in the social environment in which these women are inserted, reinvented, structuring and analyzing by different social spheres.

When analyzing the writings of Culler (1999), with regard to culture, it is possible to understand that this has a direct relationship with the modes of production of these people from the way of life of each one. It is also possible that, as this practice is established among them, the possibilities of achieving appreciation in the social environment grow. According to the author, cultural studies are manifested and gain space due to the desire to represent popular culture or to give autonomy to cultural expressions, which in this scenario, is represented by the woman from the countryside.


“Fighter woman from the countryside” refers to the way that they are constituted as people who perceive themselves in this context that, in turn, are not understood as subjects who own their own livelihoods. This notion comes from supports that are extracted from the struggle for existence in search of characterizing behavior, the organization of actions in the field in search of growth and appreciation of the work of each one. This happens through reports, documentaries, and even photographs recorded during the performance of the work.

If we take into account the struggle of these women in search of a place of representation, through the local society, it already represents a significant victory for a good part of this fighting class, since I, the projects presented to the representatives of the unions have already been, at least, analyzed . This is a factor considered important for the growth and strengthening of these people, so that new ways of coping are emerging to ease the battles of everyday life. The search for support from the “Association of Small Farmers of the State of Bahia” (APAEB). APAEB451 (MOC) has been one of the concerns of these people. The idea is to make visible the presence of women in search of economic freedom.

In the reports expressed here, we seek to verify the speeches presented about people looking for a place in the space in which they are inserted, with regard to organization and adequacy. Thus, this research was also based on the hypotheses presented by Foucault, in the work The Order of Discourse – A ordem do discurso (1996), which reports that all discourse is due to a historical, cultural, political and scientific context, with its particularities of according to the time and that must be taken into consideration through the studies carried out, since the “religious, judicial, therapeutic and, in part also, political speeches, cannot be dissociated from this practice of a ritual that determines for the subjects that they speak, at the same time, singular properties and pre-established roles ”. (FOUCAULT, 1996, p.37). In this way, we can see that the daily struggle of the “woman working in the field” is manifested through actions and discussions in search of a place in the space in which they are inserted.

Foucault (1996) reports:

it is not simply that which expresses (or hides) the desire; it is also that which is the object of desire; and since – that history does not cease to teach us – discourse is not simply that which translates struggles or systems of domination, but that because, for what one fights, the power that we want to seize. (FOUCAULT, 1996, p. 10).

In this way, the speeches given by these peasants potentiate the fight for the conquest in the production of representativeness that seeks to strengthen the productivity regarding the family income mediated by women, deconstructing a history that is rooted in humanity, for centuries and centuries. It is clear, then, the understanding that “discourse as a cultural object, produced from certain historical conditions”. (FOUCAULT, 1996, p. 37) is essential to win and achieve your achievements.

We can base ourselves on the theories of Fredric Jameson (1996), that in postmodernity we find the cultural logic of late capitalism. For him, culture has a direct influence on the economy. In addressing a historical idea of ​​postmodernity, the theorist points out the importance of cultural criticism in the economic scenario, in the same way that it is necessary to think about educational policies that aim to make subjects independent on a global scale. The author’s criticism concerns, especially, the social practices that relate culture as something that follows ideologies of capitalism. Thus, in the face of Jameson’s reports, it can be seen that the way of life of rural women seeks a freedom that is gradually being conquered, and that, even marked by prejudice, gender discrimination, disrespect for the female and working class, is worth it is worth fighting with coping strategies in search of an ideal that represents a collectivity.


The discussions strengthened during this research permeate the social relations between women and the social environment. They highlight concepts and culture from these social relations based on ways of life, and from a historical point of view constituted by the subjects of whom they compose a society. Thus, the practices carried out in favor of the collective construction of the mode of production experienced in a social space, assume the definition that constitutes a given subject.

It is concluded, therefore, that it is necessary to take a critical look at the analysis of the production modes of female communities, especially experienced by rural women in search of alternatives that bring them closer to the desired goals and that are able to show their potential as a subject of a society that directly contributes to the growth of family income to strengthen the economy of the region in which they operate. Thus, establishing strength to fight prejudice and change the standards imposed by macho society, emerging new possibilities, in the way of acting in search of alternatives of social equality and freedom to build their own way of life.

Thus, these debates related to the search for the valorization of rural women and their participation in the growth of family income, will not be enough to end the search for practices and struggles that move in search of transformations of space and time, as well as its impacts in the context of the production modes of rural women. Thus, this research seeks to show the struggle of rural women to conquer and present themselves in front of their world, emphasizing the need to make conceptual impositions distant in order to understand the legitimacy of their cultural universe. According to Scott (1989), the insertion of women in history demands a growth that is part of an important historical scenario for the construction of a new history of women.

The presence of women in social struggles in the countryside is part of our history and with the emergence of various leaders. What seems to be new in this process of equality of social classes is the emergency in meeting the demands of these women. The social recognition of the real condition of rural workers, a constant struggle for an identity that expresses the right to unionize, even over the chance to acquire their land and run their own business.


CULLER, Jonathan. Teoria Literária: uma introdução. São Paulo: Beca Produções Culturais Ltda., 1999.

FOUCAULT, Michel. A ordem do discurso: aula inaugural no Collège de France, pronunciada em 2 de dezembro de 1970. Tradução de Laura Fraga de Almeida Sampaio. São Paulo: Edições Loyola, 2012.

GIBSON, Tânia Maria de Jesus. O MOC: Movimento de conscientização política durante a ditadura militar brasileira na cidade de Feira de Santana-BA (1964-1979). Natal, 2005. (Monografia). Universidade Federal Do Rio Grande Do Norte Centro De Ciências Humanas, Letras E Artes Departamento De História.

JAMESON, Fredric. Pós-modernidade: a lógica cultural do capitalismo tardio. São Paulo: Ed. Ática, 1996.

LEI Nº 5.889, DE 8 DE JUNHO DE 1973. D.O.U. de 11.6.1973

McDOWELL, Linda. Gênero, identidad y lugar: un estudio de las geografías feministas. Valencia: Cátedra, 2000a lógica cultural do capitalismo tardio. São Paulo: Ed. Ática, 1996.

PARISSE, Tândja Andréa. A sociedade civil no contexto da Ditadura: experiência do Movimento de Organização Comunitária (MOC, na região de Feira de Santana no período de 1968 a 1979). Feira de Santana: UEFS, 2001. Monografia de Especialização em Teoria e Metodologia da História.

SCOTT, Joan W. Gênero, uma categoria útil de análise histórica. Educação e Realidade. Porto Alegre: Faculdade de Educação/UFRGS, Vol.6, N° 2, jul/dez, 1989.

WILLIAMS, Raymond. Cultura. 2.ed. São Paulo: Paz e Terra, 2000.

[1] Master of Science in Education and Multidisciplinarity; Specialist in Portuguese Language Teaching; Graduated in Literature and Pedagogy.

[2] Advisor. PhD in Letters and Linguistics. Master in Letters and Linguistics. Specialization in Literary Studies. Specialization in Text and Grammar. Graduation in Vernacular Letters.

Submitted: July, 2020.

Approved: October, 2020.

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