This article addresses a central puzzle in the history of rural women: Why have women on family farms, despite their equal partnership in production and conduct of farming business, fallen short of "economic citizenship"? By means of a unique data set, this study demonstrates that on Finnish family farms between the 1920s and 1950s, women worked longer hours than men. At the same time, and concurrently with mechanization and commercialization of production, social and cultural notions of women´s work were primarily reduced to dealing with reproductive work and consumption rather than production. In the eyes of census takers and economists, women's agricultural work was rendered invisible and their household work devalued. Farm women, subsequently, were not considered to be part of the economic sphere that laid the groundwork for civil and social rights in the post-World War II welfare society.


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pp. 132-152
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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