Elaine Kacsmar gets up on her farm every morning and drives down the road to her job as counsellor at the Esterhazy, Saskatchewan high school.
She is typical of Saskatchewan farm women who told Statistics Canada in the last census that they work off the farm more hours than on the farm these days. They are working in nursing homes, in town or municipal offices or in stores. And that doesn’t include the unpaid domestic work or community volunteer hours they put in. Women do two-thirds of all that work compared to Canadian men’s one-third share.
“You have to think of other careers,” said Kacsmar. “You need something else to fall back on because farming right now is so unreliable. You can’t base everything on the farm any more.” Kacsmar, who spends some of her precious spare time on tasks as a director of the Saskatchewan Women’s Agricultural Network, says, “women are very, very busy. Most of them are working off farm, they work on the farm and they have children.”