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MENTORING RURAL WOMEN THROUGH NEW TECHNOLOGIES – GOOD PRACTICES AND LESSONS LEARNED

D. Rutkauskiene1, J. Kasperiuniene2, G. Rutkauskas2

1Kaunas University of Technology (LITHUANIA)
2Lithuanian University of Agriculture (LITHUANIA)
Studies and research in Lithuania and other EU countries show that there is a great interest in information exchange, entrepreneurial ways of thinking, in building capacity and self- esteem, lifelong learning and e- services. Women in rural areas are at a greater risk of feeling isolated and not getting proper acknowledgement as farmers due to the deep rooted traditions within the male-dominated sector. While trying to bridge a gap between cities and rural areas local tele-cottages are emerging in many EU countries. But there is a lack of institutions or courses to motivate and empower rural woman to be active participants in the agricultural community life. This paper provides a contextual background for the Leonardo da Vinci project Mentoring rural women through social networking“, describes main project ideas and products. Later on we present the rural women needs analysis for re-qualification, training and learning, raising awareness and self-esteem in EU countries and offer a commentary on the e-learning and social networking strains. We propose social networking tools for rural community building, formal and informal learning and describe the positive impact of rural women for social improvement through the case studies and practical examples.