I'd like to just walk out of here: women's experience of drought

Margaret Alston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


A major drought has been a feature of the Australian rural landscape for much of the new century. Inland rural Australia, the main locus of large-scale agricultural production, is a site where discursive practices construct a reality that disempowers women, where men engaged in agricultural pursuits are regarded as farmers and women are more likely to be accorded secondary status despite their contributions to the economic and social survival of farm families. The dominant discourses and imagery of drought have been framed around its impact on the landscape and the decline in agricultural production. Consequently, the narratives of women's lives have been subjugated during a time of significant hardship. This article presents three case studies of Australian women on drought-stricken farms. They are drawn from a larger study conducted in three sites in rural New South Wales during 2003. These stories reveal the taken-for-granted labour undertaken by women and the multi-dimensional and gendered reality of the drought experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-170
Number of pages17
JournalSociologia Ruralis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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