The life and employment situation of farmers' wives: initial results of a nation-wide survey 1988

Claupein, E.

Berichte über Landwirtschaft 68(4): 582-592


ISSN/ISBN: 0005-9080
Accession: 002253815

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A questionnaire was distributed among the members of the GFR Association of Farmers' Wives in 1988 to assimilate data on their living and working conditions. The national survey involved the mailing of 15 000 questionnaires and resulted in a 77% response rate, which yielded 11 456 replies. In terms of the geographical location of respondents, the largest response came from Bavaria (25.7%) and the smallest from Schleswig-Holstein/Hamburg (5.6%). The average size of farms surveyed was 42.5 ha, and 83% of wives came from full time farms whereas 17% came from part-time enterprises. The farmers' wives questioned in the random sample emerged as a generally homogeneous group. They worked about 11 hours per day, were receptive to combinations of work activities in the farm household, and were mostly satisfied with their work. However, they expressed concern at the uncertain future of farming. This caused them to be open to employment outside the farm, both on financial and social insurance grounds. The attitudes and behaviour patterns displayed by the farmers' wives tended to be oriented towards traditional customs and values, although some minor deviations from the norm were recorded amongst the younger wives.