Women in Agriculture - Making a Strong Case for Investing in Women
ISSN 0081-45392010-11 THE STATE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE Closing the gender gap for development
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ISSN 0081-45392010-11 THE STATE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS Rome, 2011
iiiContentsForeword viAcknowledgements viiiAbbreviations and acronyms xPart IWomen in agriculture: closing the gender gap for development 11. The gender gap in agriculture 3 Structure of the report and key messages 5 Key messages of the report 52. Women’s work 7 Women in agriculture 7 Women in rural labour markets 16 Key messages 223. Documenting the gender gap in agriculture 23 Land 23 Livestock 24 Farm labour 26 Education 28 Information and extension 32 Financial services 33 Technology 34 Key messages 364. Gains from closing the gender gap 39 Productivity of male and female farmers 40 Production gains from closing the gender gap 41 Other social and economic benefits of closing the gender gap 43 Key messages 455. Closing the gender gap in agriculture and rural employment 46 Closing the gap in access to land 46 Closing the gap in rural labour markets 49 Closing the financial services gap 51 Closing the gap in social capital through women’s groups 53 Closing the technology gap 56 Key messages 586. Closing the gender gap for development 61Part IIWorld food and agriculture in review 63 Trends in undernourishment 65 Food production, consumption and trade during the crises 68 Recent trends in agricultural prices: a higher price plateau, and greater price volatility 76 Conclusions 81
iv PART III Statistical annex 83 Notes on the Annex tables 85 TABLE A1 Total population, female share of population and rural share of population in 1980, 1995 and 2010 90 TABLE A2 Female share of national, rural and urban population aged 15–49, most recent and earliest observations 97 TABLE A3 Economically active population, female share of economically active population and agricultural share of economically active women in 1980, 1995 and 2010 104 TABLE A4 Economically active population, agricultural share of economically active population and female share of economically active in agriculture in 1980, 1995 and 2010 111 TABLE A5 Share of households in rural areas that are female-headed, most recent and earliest observations, and total agricultural holders and female share of agricultural holders, most recent observations 118 Table A6 Share of adult population with chronic energy deficiency (CED – body mass index less than 18.5) by sex and share of children underweight by sex, residence and household wealth quintile, most recent observations 125 References 135 Special chapters of The State of Food and Agriculture 146 TABLES 1. Employment in selected high-value agro-industries 21 2. Selected examples of health insurance products targeted towards women 52 BOXES 1. Sex versus gender 4 2. Frequently asked questions about women in agriculture 8 3. Women and unpaid household responsibilities 14 4. Female farmers, household heads and data limitations 24 5. Labour productivity and hunger, nutrition and health 27 6. Women in agricultural higher education and research in Africa 30 7. Smallholder coffee production and marketing in Uganda 37 8. Targeting transfer payments to women for social benefits 44 9. Mama Lus Frut: working together for change 47 10. India’s Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) 54 11. Women in a sustainable rural livelihoods programme in Uganda 59 12. Food emergencies 70 13. Implied volatility as a measure of uncertainty 79 14. Price volatility and FAO’s Intergovernmental Groups on Grains and Rice 81
vFIGURES 1. Female share of the agricultural labour force 10 2. Proportion of labour in all agricultural activities that is supplied by women 11 3. Proportion of labour for selected crops that is supplied by women 12 4. Employment by sector 17 5. Participation in rural wage employment, by gender 18 6. Conditions of employment in rural wage employment, by gender 19 7. Wage gap between men and women in urban and rural areas 20 8. Share of male and female agricultural holders in main developing regions 25 9. Rural household assets: farm size 25 10. Household livestock assets, in male- and female-headed households 26 11. Education of male and female rural household heads 28 12. Gender differences in rural primary education attendance rates 29 13. Credit use by female- and male-headed households in rural areas 33 14. Fertilizer use by female- and male-headed households 35 15. Mechanical equipment use by female- and male-headed households 36 16. Cereal yield and gender inequality 39 17. Number of undernourished people in the world, 1969–71 to 2010 66 18. Proportion of population that is undernourished in developing regions, 1969–71 to 2010 66 19. Number of undernourished people in 2010, by region 67 20. FAO Food Price Index in real terms, 1961–2010 68 21. Average annual percentage change in GDP per capita at constant prices, 2005–2010 69 22. Annual growth in global food production, consumption and trade, 2006–2010 72 23. Indices of per capita food consumption by geographic region, 2000–10 72 24. Indices of food production by economic group 73 25. Indices of food production by region, 2000–10 74 26. Indices of food export volumes by geographic region, 2000–10 75 27. Indices of food import volumes by geographic region, 2000–10 75 28. FAO Food Price Index and indices of other commodities (fruits, beverages and raw materials), October 2000–October 2010 76 29. Indices of prices of commodities included in the FAO Food Price Index (cereals, oils, dairy, meat and sugar), October 2000–October 2010 77 30. Historic annualized volatility of international grain prices 78 31. Co-movement of energy production costs: ethanol from maize versus petrol from crude oil, October 2006–October 2010 80
vi Foreword This edition of The State of Food and The obstacles that confront women Agriculture addresses Women in agriculture: farmers mean that they achieve lower yields closing the gender gap for development. than their male counterparts. Yet women are The agriculture sector is underperforming in as good at farming as men. Solid empirical many developing countries, and one of the evidence shows that if women farmers used key reasons is that women do not have equal the same level of resources as men on the access to the resources and opportunities land they farm, they would achieve the same they need to be more productive. This yield levels. The yield gap between men and report clearly confirms that the Millennium women averages around 20–30 percent, Development Goals on gender equality and most research finds that the gap is due (MDG 3) and poverty and food security to differences in resource use. Bringing (MDG 1) are mutually reinforcing. We must yields on the land farmed by women promote gender equality and empower up to the levels achieved by men would women in agriculture to win, sustainably, the increase agricultural output in developing fight against hunger and extreme poverty. countries between 2.5 and 4 percent. I firmly believe that achieving MDG 3 can Increasing production by this amount could help us achieve MDG 1. reduce the number of undernourished Women make crucial contributions in people in the world in the order of agriculture and rural enterprises in all 12–17 percent. According to FAO’s latest developing country regions, as farmers, estimates, 925 million people are currently workers and entrepreneurs. Their roles vary undernourished. Closing the gender gap in across regions but, everywhere, women face agricultural yields could bring that number gender-specific constraints that reduce their down by as much as 100–150 million people. productivity and limit their contributions These direct improvements in agricultural to agricultural production, economic output and food security are just one part of growth and the well-being of their families, the significant gains that could be achieved communities and countries. by ensuring that women have equal access Women face a serious gender gap in to resources and opportunities. Closing access to productive resources. Women the gender gap in agriculture would put control less land than men and the land more resources in the hands of women and they control is often of poorer quality and strengthen their voice within the household their tenure is insecure. Women own fewer – a proven strategy for enhancing the food of the working animals needed in farming. security, nutrition, education and health of They also frequently do not control the children. And better fed, healthier children income from the typically small animals they learn better and become more productive manage. Women farmers are less likely than citizens. The benefits would span generations men to use modern inputs such as improved and pay large dividends in the future. seeds, fertilizers, pest control measures and The gender gap is manifest in other ways. mechanical tools. They also use less credit and Gender relations are social phenomena often do not control the credit they obtain. and it is impossible to separate women’s Finally, women have less education and less economic spheres from their household access to extension services, which make it activities. Preparing food and collecting more difficult to gain access to and use some firewood and water are time-consuming and of the other resources, such as land, credit binding constraints that must be addressed and fertilizer. These factors also prevent if women are to be able to spend their time women from adopting new technologies as in more rewarding and more productive readily as men do. The constraints women ways. Interventions must consider women face are often interrelated and need to be within their family and community contexts. addressed holistically. Making rural labour markets function better,
viiproviding labour-saving technologies and would be significant. The basic principlespublic goods and services, would enable are clear. We must eliminate all forms ofwomen to contribute more effectively to, discrimination against women under theand benefit more fully from, the economic law, ensure that access to resources is moreopportunities offered by agricultural equal and that agricultural policies andgrowth. programmes are gender-aware, and make There exists no blueprint for closing the women’s voices heard in decision-makinggender gap in agriculture, as a wide range at all levels. Women must be seen as equalof inputs, assets, services and markets are partners in sustainable development.involved and the related constraints are Achieving gender equality and empoweringinterlinked. But with appropriate policies women is not only the right thing to do; it isbased on accurate information and analysis, also crucial for agricultural development andprogress can be made and the benefits food security. Jacques Diouf FAO DIRECTOR-GENERAL
viii Acknowledgements The State of Food and Agriculture 2010–11 Ruth Vargas Hill, Ephraim Nkonya, Amber was prepared by members of the Economic Peterman, Esteban J. Quiñones and Agnes and Social Development Department of Quisumbing, (IFPRI); Christopher Coles, Priya FAO under the overall leadership of Hafez Deshingkar, Rebecca Holmes, Nicola Jones, Ghanem, Assistant Director-General, and Jonathan Mitchell and Marcella Vigneri Kostas Stamoulis, Director of the Agricultural (ODI); Diana Fletschner (Rural Development Development Economics Division (ESA). Institute) and Lisa Kenney (University of Additional guidance was provided by Marcela Washington); Christine Okali (University Villarreal, Director, and Eve Crowley, Principal of East Anglia); Jan Lundius (independent Adviser, of the Gender, Equity and Rural consultant); and Holger Seebens (KfW Employment Division (ESW); Pietro Gennari, Entwicklungsbank). Additional background Director, Statistics Division (ESS); David papers were prepared by the following FAO Hallam, Director, Trade and Markets Division staff members: Gustavo Anríquez, Yasmeen (EST); and Keith Wiebe, Principal Officer, ESA. Khwaja, Lucia Palombi (FAO Emergency The research and writing team for Part I Operations and Rehabilitation Division) and was led by Terri Raney, André Croppenstedt Paola Termine (ESW). The report also drew and Gustavo Anríquez and included Sarah on papers prepared for the FAO-IFAD-ILO Lowder, Ira Matuschke and Jakob Skoet Workshop on Gender and Rural Employment (ESA). Additional inputs were provided and synthesized by Soline de Villard and by Luisa Cruz, Ana Paula de la O Campos, Jennie Dey de Pryck. The report benefited Stefano Gerosa, Yasmeen Khwaja, Faith from two expert consultations, partially Nilsson and Panagiotis Karfakis (ESA); funded by the World Bank. In addition to Francesca Dalla Valle, Soline de Villard, many of those mentioned above, external Caroline Dookie, John Curry, Zoraida Garcia, participants included Isatou Jallow (WFP), Denis Herbel, Regina Laub, Maria Lee, Johannes Jütting (OECD), Patricia Biermayr- Yianna Lambrou, Marta Osorio, Hajnalka Jenzano (CIAT), Markus Goldstein and Petrics, Gabriel Rugalema, Libor Stloukal, Eija Pehu (World Bank), Maria Hartl and Sophie Treinen and Peter Wobst (ESW); Annina Lubbock (IFAD), Jemima Njuki (ILRI), Magdalena Blum (FAO Office of Knowledge Thelma Paris (IRRI), Patrick Webb (Tufts Exchange, Research and Extension); Holger University), and Manfred Zeller (University of Matthey (EST); Anni McLeod and Frauke Hohenheim). Hela Kochbati (Afard), Robert Kramer (FAO Animal Production and Health Mazur (Iowa State University) and others Division); Helga Josupeit, Rebecca Metzner made valuable contributions to the Global and Stefania Vannuccini (FAO Fisheries Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN and Aquaculture Policy and Economic Forum) on Women in Agriculture, organized Division); Robert Mayo (ESS) and Diana by Max Blanck and Renata Mirulla (ESA). Tempelman (FAO Regional Office for Africa). We are grateful for many useful comments Ines Smyth (Oxfam), Cathy Farnworth (on received at a mini-symposium organized at behalf of IFAD), Elisenda Estruch (ESW) the International Association of Agricultural and Julian Thomas and Frank Mischler Economists Triennial Conference. (ESA) provided valuable comments. We are In addition, the final draft report was also grateful to Amy Heyman who read, reviewed by Patrick Webb (Tufts University), commented and edited the first draft of Diana Fletschner (Rural Development the report. The report was prepared in Institute), Thomas P. Thompson (IFDC), close collaboration with Agnes Quisumbing Maria Hartl (IFAD), Carmen Diana Deere and Ruth Meinzen-Dick of IFPRI and Cheryl (UCLA), Susana Lastarria-Corhiel (University Doss of Yale University. Background papers, of Wisconsin), Jo Swinnen (University of partially funded by ESW, were prepared by Leuven), Patricia Biermayr-Jenzano, Joanne Cheryl Doss; Julia Behrman, Andrew Dillon, Sandler and colleagues (UNIFEM), Barbara
ixStocking (Oxfam GB), Paul Munro-Faure Ramasawmy, Mukesh Srivastava, and Francoand Paul Mathieu (FAO Climate, Energy and Stefanelli (ESS); Diana Tempelman; MariaTenure Division), Ruth Meinzen-Dick (IFPRI), Adelaide D’Arcangelo, Zoraida Garcia andAgnes Quisumbing (IFPRI), and Cheryl Doss Clara Park (ESW), and Barbara Burlingame(Yale University). The writing team is most and Marie-Claude Dop (FAO Nutrition andgrateful to the workshop participants and Consumer Protection Division).other internal and external reviewers of The publication was greatly enhancedvarious drafts of the manuscript. by Michelle Kendrick (ESA) who provided Part II of the report was jointly authored English editorial and project managementby Sarah Lowder (ESA) and Holger Matthey support. Liliana Maldonado and Paolaand Merritt Cluff (EST), under the guidance di Santo (ESA) provided excellentof Jakob Skoet. Additional inputs were administrative support throughout theprovided by Joshua Dewbre and Kisan Gunjal process. Translations and printing services(EST). were provided by the Meeting Programming Part III of the report was prepared by and Documentation Service of the FAOSarah Lowder, with assistance from Brian Corporate Services, Human Resources andCarisma and Stefano Gerosa, under the Finance Department. Graphic, layout andguidance of Terri Raney. Helpful comments proofing services were provided by Florawere provided by Naman Keita, Seevalingum Dicarlo and Visiontime.
x Abbreviations and acronyms CED chronic energy deficiency CIAT International Centre for Tropical Agriculture FFS Farmer field school FPI Food Price Index (FAO) ICTs information and communication technologies IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development IFDC International Fertilizer Development Center IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute ILRI International Livestock Research Institute IMF International Monetary Fund LSMS Living Standards Measurement Study MDG Millennium Development Goal NGOs non-governmental organizations NREGA National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (India) ODI Overseas Development Institute (United Kingdom) OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development RIGA Rural Income Generating Activities SIGI Social Institutions and Gender Inequality UCLA University of California, Los Angeles (United States of America) UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNIFEM United Nations Development Fund for Women WFP World Food Programme
Part I WOMEN IN AGRICULTUREClosing the gender gap for development
W O M E N I N A G R I C U L T U R E : C losi n g t h e ge n de r g a p fo r de v elop m e n t 31. The gender gap in agricultureAgriculture is underperforming in many As a result, it is often assumed thatdeveloping countries for a number of interventions in areas such as technology,reasons. Among these is the fact that women infrastructure and market access have thelack the resources and opportunities they same impacts on men and women, when inneed to make the most productive use of fact they may not.their time. Women are farmers, workers At the same time, building a genderand entrepreneurs, but almost everywhere perspective into agricultural policies andthey face more severe constraints than projects has been made to seem moremen in accessing productive resources, difficult and complex than it need be.markets and services. This “gender gap” Clarification of what is meant by gender is ahinders their productivity and reduces their good place to start (Box 1).contributions to the agriculture sector and to The last sentence in Box 1 also gives roomthe achievement of broader economic and for hope: gender roles can change. It is thesocial development goals. Closing the gender goal of this report that it will contribute togap in agriculture would produce significant improving understanding so that appropriategains for society by increasing agricultural policies can help foster gender equality,productivity, reducing poverty and hunger even as agriculture itself is changing.and promoting economic growth. The agriculture sector is becoming more Governments, donors and development technologically sophisticated, commerciallypractitioners now recognize that agriculture oriented and globally integrated; at theis central to economic growth and food same time, migration patterns and climatesecurity – particularly in countries where a variability are changing the rural landscapesignificant share of the population depends across the developing world. These forceson the sector – but their commitment to pose challenges and present opportunities forgender equality in agriculture is less robust. all agricultural producers, but women faceGender issues are now mentioned in most additional legal and social barriers that limitnational and regional agricultural and their ability to adapt to and benefit fromfood-security policy plans, but they are change. Governments and donors have madeusually relegated to separate chapters on major commitments aimed at revitalizingwomen rather than treated as an integral agriculture in developing regions, but theirpart of policy and programming. Many efforts in agriculture will yield better resultsagricultural policy and project documents more quickly if they maximize the productivestill fail to consider basic questions about the potential of women by promoting genderdifferences in the resources available to men equality.and women, their roles and the constraints Women, like men, can be consideredthey face – and how these differences might “productive resources”, but they are alsobe relevant to the proposed intervention. citizens who have an equal claim with men
4 TH E S TAT E O F F O O D AN D A G R I C U L T U R E 2 0 1 0 – 1 1 BOX 1 Sex versus gender The concepts of “sex” and “gender” men and women (Moser, 1989). Being can be confusing, not least because socially determined, however, this even the experts sometimes use them distribution can be changed through inconsistently. Sex refers to the innate conscious social action, including public biological categories of male or female. policy. Every society is marked by gender Gender refers to the social roles and differences, but these vary widely by identities associated with what it means culture and can change dramatically over to be a man or a woman. Gender roles are time. Sex is biology. Gender is sociology. shaped by ideological, religious, ethnic, Sex is fixed. Gender roles change. economic and cultural factors and are a key determinant of the distribution of responsibilities and resources between Source: Quisumbing, 1996. on the protections, opportunities and empirical evidence from many different services provided by their governments countries shows that female farmers are just and the international community. Gender as efficient as their male counterparts, but equality is a Millennium Development Goal they have less land and use fewer inputs, so (MDG) in its own right, and it is directly they produce less. The potential gains that related to the achievement of the MDG could be achieved by closing the gender targets on reducing extreme poverty and gap in input use are estimated in this report hunger. Clear synergies exist between the in terms of agricultural yields, agricultural gender-equality and hunger-reduction goals. production, food security and broader Agricultural policy-makers and development aspects of economic and social welfare. practitioners have an obligation to ensure Because many of the constraints faced by that women are able to participate fully in, women are socially determined, they can and benefit from, the process of agricultural change. What is more, external pressures development. At the same time, promoting often serve as a catalyst for women to take gender equality in agriculture can help on new roles and responsibilities that can reduce extreme poverty and hunger. Equality improve their productivity and raise their for women would be good for agricultural status within households and communities. development, and agricultural development For example, the growth of modern supply should also be good for women. chains for high-value agricultural products The roles and status of women in is creating significant opportunities – and agriculture and rural areas vary widely challenges – for women in on-farm and off- by region, age, ethnicity and social class farm employment. Other forces for social and are changing rapidly in some parts and economic change can also translate into of the world. Policy-makers, donors and opportunities for women. development practitioners need information Gender-aware policy support and well- and analysis that reflect the diversity of the designed development projects can help contributions women make and the specific close the gender gap. Given existing challenges they are confronted with in order inequities, it is not enough that policies be to make gender-aware decisions about the gender-neutral; overcoming the constraints sector. faced by women requires much more. Despite the diversity in the roles and Reforms aimed at eliminating discrimination status of women in agriculture, the evidence and promoting equal access to productive and analysis presented in this report confirm resources can help ensure that women – and that women face a surprisingly consistent men – are equally prepared to cope with gender gap in access to productive assets, the challenges and to take advantage of inputs and services. A large body of the opportunities arising from the changes
W O M E N I N A G R I C U L T U R E : C losi n g t h e ge n de r g a p fo r de v elop m e n t 5shaping the rural economy. Closing the farmers and estimates the gains that couldgender gap in agriculture will benefit be achieved by closing the gender gap inwomen, the agriculture and rural sectors, agricultural input use. Potential gains inand society as a whole. The gains will vary agricultural yields, agricultural production,widely according to local circumstances, but food security and broader aspects ofthey are likely to be greater where women economic and social welfare are assessed.are more involved in agriculture and face the Chapter 5 advances specific policies andmost severe constraints. programmes that can help close the gender While it seems obvious that closing the gap in agriculture and rural employment.gender gap would be beneficial, evidence The focus is on interventions that alleviateto substantiate this potential has been constraints on agricultural productivity andlacking. This edition of The State of Food rural development.and Agriculture has several goals: to bring Chapter 6 provides broaderthe best available empirical evidence to recommendations for closing the gender gapbear on the contributions women make and for development.the constraints they face in agricultural andrural enterprises in different regions of theworld; to demonstrate how the gender gap Key messages of the reportlimits agricultural productivity, economicdevelopment and human well-being; to • Women make essential contributions toevaluate critically interventions aimed at agriculture in developing countries, butreducing the gender gap and to recommend their roles differ significantly by regionpractical steps that national governments and are changing rapidly in some areas.and the international community can take Women comprise, on average, 43 percentto promote agricultural development by of the agricultural labour force inempowering women. developing countries, ranging from 20 percent in Latin America to 50 percent in Eastern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.Structure of the report and key Their contribution to agricultural workmessages varies even more widely depending on the specific crop and activity.Chapter 2 provides a survey of the roles • Women in agriculture and rural areasand status of women in agriculture and have one thing in common acrossrural areas in different parts of the world. regions: they have less access thanIt brings the best, most comprehensive men to productive resources andavailable evidence to bear on a number opportunities. The gender gap is foundof controversial questions that are both for many assets, inputs and servicesconceptually and empirically challenging. – land, livestock, labour, education,It focuses on women’s contributions extension and financial services, andas farmers and agricultural workers technology – and it imposes costs on theand examines their status in terms of agriculture sector, the broader economypoverty, hunger and nutrition, and rural and society as well as on womendemographics. It also looks at the ways in themselves.which the transformation of agriculture and • Closing the gender gap in agriculturethe emergence of high-value marketing would generate significant gains forchains are creating challenges and the agriculture sector and for society.opportunities for women. If women had the same access to Chapter 3 documents the constraints productive resources as men, theyfacing women in agriculture across a range could increase yields on their farms byof assets: land, livestock, farm labour, 20–30 percent. This could raise totaleducation, extension services, financial agricultural output in developingservices and technology. countries by 2.5–4 percent, which could Chapter 4 surveys the economic evidence in turn reduce the number of hungryon the productivity of male and female people in the world by 12–17 percent.
6 TH E S TAT E O F F O O D AN D A G R I C U L T U R E 2 0 1 0 – 1 1 The potential gains would vary by region resources, education, extension and depending on how many women are financial services, and labour markets; currently engaged in agriculture, how -- investing in labour-saving and much production or land they control, productivity-enhancing technologies and how wide a gender gap they face. and infrastructure to free women’s • Policy interventions can help close the time for more productive activities; gender gap in agriculture and rural labour and markets. Priority areas for reform include: -- facilitating the participation of women -- eliminating discrimination against in flexible, efficient and fair rural women in access to agricultural labour markets.
W O M E N I N A G R I C U L T U R E : C losi n g t h e ge n de r g a p fo r de v elop m e n t 72. Women’s workWomen make essential contributions to participation in the labour force has aagriculture and rural economic activities in positive impact on economic growth (Klasenall developing country regions.1 Their roles and Lamanna, 2009).vary considerably among and within regionsand are changing rapidly in many partsof the world where economic and social Women in agricultureforces are transforming the agriculturesector. The emergence of contract farming Women work in agriculture as farmers onand modern supply chains for high-value their own account, as unpaid workers onagricultural products, for example, present family farms and as paid or unpaid labourersdifferent opportunities and challenges on other farms and agricultural enterprises.for women than they do for men. These They are involved in both crop and livestockdifferences derive from the different roles production at subsistence and commercialand responsibilities of women and the levels. They produce food and cash crops andconstraints that they face. manage mixed agricultural operations often Rural women often manage complex involving crops, livestock and fish farming.households and pursue multiple livelihood All of these women are considered part ofstrategies. Their activities typically include the agricultural labour force.2producing agricultural crops, tending Based on the latest internationallyanimals, processing and preparing food, comparable data, women comprise anworking for wages in agricultural or other average of 43 percent of the agriculturalrural enterprises, collecting fuel and water, labour force of developing countries. Theengaging in trade and marketing, caring female share of the agricultural labourfor family members and maintaining their force ranges from about 20 percent in Latinhomes (see Box 2 for some of the frequently America to almost 50 percent in Eastern andasked questions on the roles and status Southeastern Asia and sub-Saharan Africaof women in agriculture). Many of these (Figure 1). The regional averages in Figureactivities are not defined as “economically 1 mask wide variations within and amongactive employment” in national accounts countries (see Annex tables A3 and A4).but they are all essential to the well-being Women in sub-Saharan Africa haveof rural households (see Box 3, page 14, relatively high overall labour-forcefor a discussion of women’s household participation rates and the highest averageresponsibilities). agricultural labour-force participation Women often face gender-specific rates in the world. Cultural norms in thechallenges to full participation in the region have long encouraged women to belabour force, which may require policy economically self-reliant and traditionallyinterventions beyond those aimed at give women substantial responsibility forpromoting economic growth and the agricultural production in their own right.efficiency of rural labour markets. Policies Regional data for sub-Saharan Africa concealcan influence the economic incentives wide differences among countries. The shareand social norms that determine whether of women in the agricultural labour forcewomen work, the types of work theyperform and whether it is considered an 2 The agricultural labour force includes people who areeconomic activity, the stock of human working or looking for work in formal or informal jobs andcapital they accumulate and the levels in paid or unpaid employment in agriculture. That includes self-employed women as well as women working on familyof pay they receive. Increasing female farms. It does not include domestic chores such as fetching water and firewood, preparing food and caring for children1 The material in this chapter is based on FAO (2010a). and other family members.
8 TH E S TAT E O F F O O D AN D A G R I C U L T U R E 2 0 1 0 – 1 1 BOX 2 Frequently asked questions about women in agriculture Question 1: How much of the agricultural Question 3: Do women have less access labour in the developing world is than men to agricultural resources and performed by women? inputs? Answer: Women comprise 43 percent Answer: Yes, this is one generalization of the agricultural labour force, on about women in agriculture that holds average, in developing countries; this true across countries and contexts: figure ranges from around 20 percent in compared with their male counterparts, Latin America to 50 percent in parts of female farmers in all regions control less Africa and Asia, but it exceeds 60 percent land and livestock, make far less use of in only a few countries (FAO, 2010a). improved seed varieties and purchased Critics argue that labour force statistics inputs such as fertilizers, are much less underestimate the contribution of women likely to use credit or insurance, have to agricultural work because women lower education levels and are less likely are less likely to declare themselves as to have access to extension services (see employed in agriculture and they work Chapter 3). longer hours than men (Beneria, 1981), but evidence from time-use surveys does Question 4: Do women and girls comprise not suggest that women perform most of the majority of the world’s poor people? the agricultural labour in the developing Answer: Poverty is normally measured world (see Chapter 2). in terms of income or consumption at the household level, not for individuals, Question 2: What share of the world’s so separate poverty rates for men and food is produced by women? women cannot be calculated. Females Answer: This question cannot be answered could be overrepresented among the in any empirically rigorous way because poor if female-headed households are of conceptual ambiguities and data poorer than male-headed households limitations. Different definitions of “food” (see Question 6) or if significant anti- and “production” would yield different female bias exists within households (see answers to the question and, more Question 7). Females may be poorer than importantly, food production requires males if broader measures of poverty are many resources – land, labour, capital – considered, such as access to productive controlled by men and women who work resources (see Question 3). cooperatively in most developing countries, so separating food production by gender is Question 5: Do women face discrimination not very meaningful (Doss, 2010). in rural labour markets? ranges from 36 percent in Côte d’Ivoire and where the female share of the agricultural the Niger to over 60 percent in Lesotho, labour force has increased slightly since 1980 Mozambique and Sierra Leone. A number of to almost 48 percent. The share of women countries have seen substantial increases in in the agricultural labour force in most the female share of the agricultural labour other countries in the region has remained force in recent decades due to a number fairly steady at between 40 and 50 percent, of reasons, including conflict, HIV/AIDS and although it is substantially lower and migration. declining in some countries such as Malaysia Women in Eastern and Southeastern Asia and the Philippines. also make very substantial contributions to The Southern Asian average is dominated the agricultural labour force, almost as high by India, where the share of women in the on average as in sub-Saharan Africa. The agricultural labour force has remained steady regional average is dominated by China, at just over 30 percent. This masks changes
W O M E N I N A G R I C U L T U R E : C losi n g t h e ge n de r g a p fo r de v elop m e n t 9 Answer: In most countries and in keeping Question 7: Are women and girls with global figures, women in rural areas more likely than men and boys to be who work for wages are more likely than undernourished? men to hold seasonal, part-time and low- Answer: A positive answer to this wage jobs and (controlling for education, statement is not supported by available age and industry) women receive lower evidence, and generalizations are difficult wages for the same work (see Chapter 2). to make. The limited evidence available suggests that this may be true in Asia, Question 6: Are female-headed while it is not true in Africa. More sex- households the poorest of the poor? disaggregated data of better quality on Answer: Data from 35 nationally anthropometric and other indicators of representative surveys for 20 countries malnutrition are needed to arrive at clear analysed by FAO show that female- conclusions. There is, however, evidence headed households are more likely to be that girls are much more vulnerable to poor than male-headed households in transitory income shocks than boys (Baird, some countries but the opposite is true Friedman and Schady, 2007). in other countries – so it is not possible to generalize. Data limitations also make it Question 8: Are women more likely than impossible to distinguish systematically men to spend additional income on their between households headed by women children? who are single, widowed or divorced (de Answer: A very large body of research jure female heads) and those who are from many countries around the world associated with an adult male who supports confirms that putting more income in the family through remittances and social the hands of women yields beneficial networks (de facto female heads). It is results for child nutrition, health and likely that the former are more likely to education. Other measures – such as be poor than the latter (Anríquez, 2010). improving education – that increase There is also evidence to suggest that rural women’s influence within the household female-headed households were more are also associated with better outcomes vulnerable than males during the food price for children. Exceptions exist, of course, shock of 2008 because they spend a larger but empowering women is a well-proven proportion of household income on food strategy for improving children’s well- and because they were less able to respond being (see Chapter 4). by increasing food production (Zezza et al., 2008). Again, these results vary by country.in other countries where the female share participation in the region are found inof the agricultural labour force appears to Jordan, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and thehave increased dramatically, such as Pakistan Syrian Arab Republic.where it has almost tripled since 1980, to The countries of Latin America have high30 percent, and Bangladesh where women overall female labour-force participationnow exceed 50 percent of the agricultural rates, but much lower participation inlabour force. agriculture than those in other developing The female share of the agricultural labour country regions. This pattern reflectsforce in the Near East and North Africa relatively high female education levelsappears to have risen substantially, from (see Chapter 4), economic growth and30 percent in 1980 to almost 45 percent. diversification, and cultural norms thatSome of the highest and fastest-growing support female migration to service jobsrates of female agricultural labour force in urban areas. Just over 20 percent of the
10 TH E S TAT E O F F O O D AN D A G R I C U L T U R E 2 0 1 0 – 1 1 FIGURE 1 Female share of the agricultural labour force Percentage 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 Eastern and Southeastern Asia Latin America and the Caribbean Near East and North Africa Southern Asia Sub-Saharan Africa Note: The female share of the agricultural labour force is calculated as the total number of women economically active in agriculture divided by the total population economically active in agriculture. Regional averages are weighted by population. Source: FAO, 2010b. See Annex table A4. agricultural labour force in Latin America Time-use surveys attempt to provide a was female in 2010, slightly higher than complete account of how men and women in 1980. The South American countries of allocate their time.3 Such studies generally the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Brazil, are not nationally representative and are Colombia, Ecuador and Peru dominate both not directly comparable because they usually the average and the rising trend, while cover small samples, report on different many countries in Central America and the types of activities (that are not always clearly Caribbean have seen declining shares of specified) and use different methodologies. women in the agricultural labour force. Despite these caveats, a summary of the Although in some countries sex- evidence from studies that specify time use disaggregated data collection has improved by agricultural activity suggests interesting over recent decades, some researchers patterns. have raised concerns as to the validity of Time-use surveys that cover all agricultural agricultural labour-force statistics as a activities (Figure 2) reveal considerable measure of women’s work in agriculture variation across countries, and sometimes (Beneria, 1981; Deere, 2005). Women’s within countries, but the data are broadly participation in the agricultural labour force similar to the labour force statistics discussed may underestimate the amount of work above. In Africa, estimates of the time women do because women are less likely contribution of women to agricultural than men to define their activities as work, they are less likely to report themselves 3 It is commonly claimed that women perform as being engaged in agriculture and they 60–80 percent of the agricultural labour in developing work, on average, longer hours than men countries (UNECA, 1972; World Bank, FAO and IFAD, 2009). The evidence from time-use surveys and agricultural – so even if fewer women are involved labour-force statistics does not support this general they may contribute more total time to the statement, although women do comprise over 60 percent sector. of the agricultural labour force in some countries.
W O M E N I N A G R I C U L T U R E : C losi n g t h e ge n de r g a p fo r de v elop m e n t 11 FIGURE 2 Proportion of labour in all agricultural activities that is supplied by women Gambia United Republic of Tanzania Burkina Faso Nigeria Zambia (1) Zambia (2) Cameroon (Centre–South) Cameroon (Yassa of Campo, Southwest) Cameroon (Mvae of Campo, Southwest) Niger Togo Ghana India/West Bengal India India/Rajasthan Nepal China Peru (1) Peru (2) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Percentage of labour supplied by women Africa Asia Latin AmericaNote: Only the survey for India is nationally representative.Sources (from top to bottom): Gambia: von Braun and Webb, 1989; United Republic of Tanzania: Fontana and Natali, 2008;Burkina Faso: Saito, Mekonnen and Spurling, 1994; Nigeria: Rahji and Falusi, 2005; Zambia (1): Saito, Mekonnen andSpurling, 1994; Zambia (2): Kumar, 1994; Cameroon, Centre–South: Leplaideur, 1978, cited by Charmes, 2006: Cameroon(Yasssa of Campo, Southwest): Charmes, 2006, based on Pasquet and Koppert, 1993 and 1996; Cameroon (Mvae of Campo,Southwest): Charmes, 2006, based on Pasquet and Koppert, 1993 and 1996; Niger: Baanante, Thompson and Acheampong,1999; Togo: Baanante, Thompson and Acheampong, 1999; Ghana: Baananate, Thompson and Acheampong, 1999; India(West Bengal): Jain, 1996; India: Singh and Sengupta, 2009; India (Rajasthan): Jain, 1996; Nepal: Joshi, 2000; China: deBrauw et al., 2008; Peru (1): Deere, 1982; Peru (2): Jacoby, 1992.
12 TH E S TAT E O F F O O D AN D A G R I C U L T U R E 2 0 1 0 – 1 1 activities ranges from about 30 percent in is a predominantly female activity, but the Gambia to 60–80 percent in different women are typically involved to some extent parts of Cameroon. In Asia, estimates range in all activities except ploughing. from 32 percent in India to over 50 percent Studies from Indonesia reveal greater in China. The range is lower in Latin America, involvement of women in upland rice but exceeds 30 percent in some parts of Peru. production than that of wet rice and in the A striking degree of within-country variation management of young plantation crops is shown by the study for India. While this such as cinnamon and rubber rather than nationally representative study indicates that the same crops at maturity. As noted above, the national average for women’s share of the data for India hide wide variations total time-use in agriculture is 32 percent, between West Bengal and Rajasthan, but the share ranges from less than 10 percent in both areas, younger women contribute in West Bengal to more than 40 percent in a higher share of the total time provided Rajasthan. in agriculture by their age group than These studies also reveal that female time- older women do in theirs. In Rajasthan, use in agriculture varies widely depending for example, girls aged between 14 and 19 on the crop and the phase of the production contribute up to 60 percent of the total time cycle, the age and ethnic group of the spent on agriculture by their age group (Jain, women in question, the type of activity and 1996). Two separate studies are reported a number of other factors (Figure 3). Planting each for Peru and Zambia, and differences FIGURE 3 Proportion of labour for selected crops that is supplied by women Young rubber Mature rubber Young cinnamon Mature cinnamon Wet rice Upland rice Rice Rice Rice Tomatoes 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Percentage of labour supplied by women Indonesia Bangladesh Philippines Viet Nam Dominican Republic Sources (from top to bottom): Indonesia (young rubber): Quisumbing and Otsuka, 2001a; Indonesia (mature rubber): Quisumbing and Otsuka, 2001a; Indonesia (young cinnamon): Quisumbing and Otsuka, 2001a; Indonesia (mature cinnamon): Quisumbing and Otsuka, 2001a; Indonesia (wet rice): Quisumbing and Otsuka, 2001a; Indonesia (upland rice): Quisumbing and Otsuka, 2001a; Bangladesh: Thompson and Sanabria, 2010; Philippines: Estudillo, Quisumbing and Otsuka, 2001; Viet Nam: Paris and Chi, 2005; Dominican Republic: Raynolds, 2002.
W O M E N I N A G R I C U L T U R E : C losi n g t h e ge n de r g a p fo r de v elop m e n t 13reflect different time periods and locations Evidence shows, however, that femalewithin the countries. farmers are largely excluded from modern Time-use studies permit a rich analysis contract-farming arrangements because theyof what men and women do in agriculture lack secure control over land, family labourand how their roles may differ by crop, and other resources required to guaranteelocation, management structure, age and delivery of a reliable flow of produce. Forethnic group. They offer policy-relevant example, women comprise fewer thaninformation about where, when and how 10 percent of the farmers involved into target interventions aimed at women smallholder contract-farming schemes inand how to bring men into the process the Kenyan fresh fruit and vegetable exportconstructively. Given the variation in gender sector (Dolan, 2001), and only 1 of a sampleroles in agriculture, generalizations about of 59 farmers contracted in Senegal totime use from one region to another are produce French beans for the export sectornot appropriate. Studies that consider the was a woman (Maertens and Swinnen, 2009).gender roles within their specific geographic While men control the contracts, however,and cultural context can provide practical much of the farm work done on contractedguidance for policy-makers and practitioners plots is performed by women as familyinvolved in technology investments, labourers. For example, in 70 percent of theextension services, post-harvest activities and cases of sugar contract-farming in Southmarketing interventions. Africa, the principal farmer on the sugar- One generalization that does hold is cane plots is a woman (Porter and Philips-that women usually allocate time to food Horward, 1997). Women work longer hourspreparation, child care and other household than men in vegetable contract-farmingresponsibilities in addition to the time schemes controlled by male farmers inthey spend in agriculture (see Box 3). In the Indian Punjab (Singh, 2003). In a largemost societies, household responsibilities contract-farming scheme involving thousandsare divided along gender lines, although of farmers in China, women – while excludedthese norms differ by culture and over time. from signing contracts themselves – performDepending on the household structure and the bulk of the work related to contractsize, these tasks may be extremely time- farming (Eaton and Shepherd, 2001). Womenintensive. Across regions, time allocation may not be well compensated as unpaidstudies have shown that women work family labour in contract-farming schemessignificantly more than men if care-giving is (Maertens and Swinnen, 2009).included in the calculations (Ilahi, 2000). The Evidence is mixed regarding whethercombination of commitments often means contract farming increases overall householdthat women are more time-constrained than incomes or creates conflicts between themen (Blackden and Wodon, 2006). production of cash crops and food crops. For example, Dolan (2001) argues that theWomen in modern contract-farming4 growth of high-value horticulture supplyOne noteworthy feature of modern chains has been detrimental for ruralagricultural value chains is the growth of women in Kenya because land and labourcontract farming or out-grower schemes for resources that were traditionally used byhigh-value produce through which large- women to cultivate vegetables for homescale agroprocessing firms seek to ensure consumption and sale in local marketsa steady supply of quality produce. Such have been appropriated by men for exportschemes can help small-scale farmers and vegetable production under contract. Onlivestock producers overcome the technical the other hand, although their results arebarriers and transaction costs involved in not gender-specific, Minten, Randrianarisonmeeting the increasingly stringent demands and Swinnen (2009), find that high-valueof urban consumers in domestic and vegetable contract-farming in Madagascarinternational markets. leads to improved productivity for food (rice) production through technology spillovers,4 The material in this section is based on Maertens and thereby improving the availability of foodSwinnen (2009). in the household and shortening the lean
14 TH E S TAT E O F F O O D AN D A G R I C U L T U R E 2 0 1 0 – 1 1 BOX 3 Women and unpaid household responsibilities Women have primary responsibilities for Because of the gender-specific household and child-rearing activities assignment of tasks, any change affecting in most societies, although norms differ the family or the environment may by culture and are changing over time. have different implications for men and Time-use surveys across a wide range of women. HIV/AIDS, for example, has caused countries estimate that women provide a significant increase in the time needed 85–90 percent of the time spent on to care for sick family members or the household food preparation and that orphaned children of relatives (Addati they are also usually responsible for child and Cassirer, 2008). Deforestation leads care and other household chores. The women to travel increasing distances from combined time burden of household the homestead to collect firewood (Kumar chores and farm work is particularly severe and Hotchkiss, 1988; Nankhuni, 2004). for women in Africa (Ilahi, 2000). Poor infrastructure and limited provision Ghanaian women carry a much heavier of public services require Tanzanian burden for household chores despite women in rural areas to spend long working outside the home almost as much hours on water and fuel collection, food as men (Brown, 1994). In Uganda, women preparation and other domestic and cite the time they spend looking after child-care activities. Improving public their families, working in their husbands’ infrastructure for water and fuel collection gardens and producing food for their and food preparation (e.g. grain-milling households as reasons for their inability to facilities) could free women in the United expand production for the market (Ellis, Republic of Tanzania from a burden that Manuel and Blackden, 2006). Women and represents 8 billion hours of unpaid work girls in Ghana, the United Republic of per year, which is equivalent to the hours Tanzania and Zambia are responsible for required for 4.6 million full-time jobs. The about 65 percent of all transport activities same improvements would save time for in rural households, such as collecting men also, but less: the time-equivalent of firewood and water and carrying grain to 200 000 full-time jobs (Fontana and Natali, the grinding mill (Malmberg-Calvo, 1994). 2008). period or “hunger season”. Maertens and engaged in the sector. An estimated two- Swinnen (2009) do not find evidence of thirds of poor livestock keepers, totalling gender conflict over resources in the French approximately 400 million people, are bean export sector in Senegal because women (Thornton et al., 2002). They share households only allocate part of their land responsibility with men and children for the and labour resources to bean production, care of animals, and particular species and which occurs during the off-season and does types of activity are more associated with not coincide with the main rainy season women than men. For example, women when staple food crops and other subsistence often have a prominent role in managing crops are cultivated. poultry (FAO, 1998; Guèye, 2000; Tung, 2005) and dairy animals (Okali and Mims, Women as livestock keepers5 1998; Tangka, Jabbar and Shapiro, 2000) Within pastoralist and mixed farming and in caring for other animals that are systems, livestock play an important role in housed and fed within the homestead. supporting women and in improving their When tasks are divided, men are more financial situation, and women are heavily likely to be involved in constructing housing and the herding of grazing animals, and in marketing products if women’s mobility 5 The material in this section was prepared by FAO’s Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department, Animal is constrained. The influence of women is Production and Health Division. strong in the use of eggs, milk and poultry
W O M E N I N A G R I C U L T U R E : C losi n g t h e ge n de r g a p fo r de v elop m e n t 15meat for home consumption and they out of business. This is particularly evidentoften have control over marketing these for pig and poultry owners (Rola et al., 2006)products and the income derived from but is not confined to those species. Giventhem. Perhaps for this reason, poultry and the more limited ability of women to startsmall-scale dairy projects have been popular their own businesses, this implies that theyinvestments for development projects that will tend to become employees rather thanaim to improve the lot of rural women. In self-employed. In specialized activities suchsome countries, small-scale pig production is as the production of day-old chicks, and inalso dominated by women. Female-headed slaughtering, processing and retail, womenhouseholds are as successful as male-headed are visible wherever painstaking semi-skilledhouseholds in generating income from their work is to be done, but very little researchanimals, although they tend to own smaller data are available about the extent of theirnumbers of animals, probably because of involvement compared with that of men, orlabour constraints. Livestock ownership is their control over resources.particularly attractive to women in societieswhere access to land is restricted to men Women in fisheries and aquaculture6(Bravo-Baumann, 2000). In 2008, nearly 45 million people worldwide While the role of women in small-scale were directly engaged, full time or part time,livestock production is well recognized, much in the fishery primary sector.7 In addition, anless has been documented about women’s estimated 135 million people are employedengagement in intensive production and in the secondary sector, including post-the market chains associated with large harvest activities. While comprehensive datacommercial enterprises. Demand for livestock are not available on a sex-disaggregatedproducts, fuelled by rising incomes, has basis, case studies suggest that womengrown much faster than the demand for crop may comprise up to 30 percent of the totalstaples during the past 40 years – particularly employment in fisheries, including primaryin Asia and Latin America – and this trend is and secondary activities.expected to continue. While pastoralist and Information provided to FAO from 86small-scale mixed-farming systems continue countries indicates that in 2008, 5.4 millionto be important in meeting the needs of women worked as fishers and fish farmersrural consumers, the demands of growing in the primary sector. This representsurban populations are increasingly supplied 12 percent of the total. In two majorwith meat, milk and eggs from intensive producing countries, China and India,commercial systems. This has implications women represented a share of 21 percentfor the engagement of women in the and 24 percent, respectively, of all fishers andlivestock sector because of the different fish farmers.roles, responsibilities and access to resources Women have rarely engaged in commercialthat are evident within different scales of offshore and long-distance captureproduction system and at different points on fisheries because of the vigorous workthe production and marketing chain. involved but also because of their domestic The available evidence suggests that the responsibilities and/or social norms. Theyrole of women in meeting these changing are more commonly occupied in subsistencedemands may diminish, for two reasons. and commercial fishing from small boats andThe first is that when livestock enterprises canoes in coastal or inland waters. Womenscale up, the control over decisions and also contribute as entrepreneurs and provideincome, and sometimes the entire enterprise, labour before, during and after the catchoften shifts to men. This is not a universal in both artisanal and commercial fisheries.phenomenon – in Viet Nam, for example, For example, in West Africa, the so calledmany medium-sized duck-breeding “Fish Mamas” play a major role: they usuallyenterprises are managed by women – but itis common and can be explained by women’s 6 The material in this section was prepared by FAO’slimited access to land and credit. The second Fisheries and Aquaculture Department. 7 FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department regularlyimportant factor is that all smallholders collects employment statistics in fisheries and aquacultureface challenges when the livestock sector related to the primary sector only. The data thereforeintensifies and concentrates and many go exclude post-harvest activities.
16 TH E S TAT E O F F O O D AN D A G R I C U L T U R E 2 0 1 0 – 1 1 own capital and are directly and vigorously IFAD, 2009). Studies conducted by FAO in involved in the coordination of the fisheries Africa and Europe indicate that women do chain, from production to the sale of fish. not hold senior or policy-making positions Studies of women in aquaculture, in the sector. Rather, they are primarily especially in Asia where aquaculture employed in administrative and support has a long tradition, indicate that the roles, with professional women foresters contribution of women in labour is often tending to have specialist roles (e.g. research) greater than men’s, although macro-level or first-line junior management positions. sex-disaggregated data on this topic is There is limited information on the numbers almost non-existent. Women are reported and roles of women in contracting or self- to constitute 33 percent of the rural employed forestry work (FAO, 2006a, 2007). aquaculture workforce in China, 42 percent The studies indicate that even though women in Indonesia and 80 percent in Viet Nam are still underrepresented in the industry, (Kusabe and Kelker, 2001). examples of good practice are emerging, The most significant role played by women especially in Europe (FAO, 2006a). This shows in both artisanal and industrial fisheries is that concerted and sustained commitment at the processing and marketing stages, and planning at senior organizational levels where they are very active in all regions. can result in quantifiable improvements in In some countries, women have become the number of professional women foresters significant entrepreneurs in fish processing; employed and the level of seniority they can in fact, most fish processing is performed by attain. women, either in their own household-level industries or as wage labourers in the large- scale processing industry. Women in rural labour markets Women in forestry About 70 percent of men and 40 percent Women contribute to both the formal and of women in developing countries are informal forestry sectors in many significant employed (Figure 4A). Male employment ways. They play roles in agroforestry, rates range from more than 60 percent in watershed management, tree improvement, the Near East and North Africa to almost and forest protection and conservation. 80 percent in sub-Saharan African. Female Forests also often represent an important employment rates vary more widely across source of employment for women, especially regions, from about 15 percent in the Near in rural areas. From nurseries to plantations, East and North Africa to over 60 percent in and from logging to wood processing, sub-Saharan Africa. women make up a notable proportion of the In Asia and in sub-Saharan Africa, women labour force in forest industries throughout who are employed are more likely to be the world. However, although women employed in agriculture than in other contribute substantially to the forestry sectors (Figure 4B). Almost 70 percent of sector, their roles are not fully recognized employed women in Southern Asia and and documented, their wages are not more than 60 percent of employed women equal to those of men and their working in sub-Saharan Africa work in agriculture. conditions tend to be poor (World Bank, FAO Furthermore, in most developing country and IFAD, 2009). regions, women who are employed are just The Global Forest Resources Assessment as likely, or even more likely, than men to 2010 reports that the forestry sector be in agriculture. The major exception is worldwide employed approximately Latin America, where agriculture provides a 11 million people in 2005; however, sex- relatively small source of female employment disaggregated data on the number of and women are less likely than men to work women employed by the sector are not in the sector. available on a comprehensive basis (FAO, In most developing countries, a relatively 2010c). Evidence from developing countries small share of the population works for a suggests that women are often employed in wage, and women are less likely to do so menial jobs in sawmills, plantation nurseries than men (World Bank, 2007a). For rural and logging camps (World Bank, FAO and areas, data collected by the Rural Income
W O M E N I N A G R I C U L T U R E : C losi n g t h e ge n de r g a p fo r de v elop m e n t 17 FIGURE 4 Employment by sector A - Employed population as a share of total adult population, by sex and sector Percentage of total male and female population, respectively 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Males Females Males Females Males Females Males Females Males Females Males Females Developing Eastern and Latin America Near East and Southern Asia Sub-Saharan countries Southeastern and the North Africa Africa Asia Caribbean B - Distribution of male and female employment, by sector Percentage of male and female employment, respectively 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Males Females Males Females Males Females Males Females Males Females Males Females Developing Eastern and Latin America Near East and Southern Asia Sub-Saharan countries Southeastern and the North Africa Africa Asia Caribbean Agriculture Industry ServicesNote: The data cover only a subset of the countries in each region. Deﬁnitions of adult labour force differ by country,but usually refer to the population aged 15 and above.Source: ILO, 2009.Generating Activities (RIGA) project show For example, almost 15 percent of menthat the gender gap in formal and informal but fewer than 4 percent of women arewage employment is large (Figure 5).8 employed for wages in Ghana. The gap is even wider in some other countries, such as8 Rural Income Generating Activities (RIGA) is a FAO project Bangladesh, where 24 percent of rural menthat has created an internationally comparable database of and only 3 percent of rural women work inrural household income sources from existing household living wage employment. A similar pattern holds instandards surveys for more than 27 countries (FAO, 2010d). Latin America also; for example, in EcuadorMost of the surveys used by the RIGA project were developedby national statistical offices in conjunction the World Bank as almost 30 percent of rural men and onlypart of its Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS). 9 percent of rural women receive a wage.
18 TH E S TAT E O F F O O D AN D A G R I C U L T U R E 2 0 1 0 – 1 1 FIGURE 5 Participation in rural wage employment, by gender Ecuador Guatemala Nicaragua Panama Bangladesh Indonesia Nepal Tajikistan Viet Nam Ghana Malawi Nigeria 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Percentage of adult population working for a wage Women Men Source: FAO, 2010d. Even when rural women are in wage Differences in male and female employment, they are more likely to be employment and wage patterns may have in part-time, seasonal and/or low-paying multiple causes. Because women in many jobs. In Malawi, for example, 90 percent of countries have less education and work women and 66 percent of men work part- experience than men, they may earn a lower time (Figure 6A). In Nepal, 70 percent of wage. Furthermore, having less education women and 45 percent of men work part- and experience reduces their bargaining time. This pattern is less pronounced in Latin power so they may be more likely to accept America than in other regions. low wages and irregular working conditions Rural wage employment is characterized (Kantor, 2008). Evidence from a number of by a high prevalence of seasonal jobs studies confirms that women, on average, for both men and women, but in most are paid less than men even for equivalent countries women are more likely than men jobs and comparable levels of education to be employed seasonally (Figure 6B). For and experience (Ahmed and Maitra, 2010; example, in Ecuador, almost 50 percent of Fontana, 2009). At the same time, because women but fewer than 40 percent of men women face significant time constraints hold seasonal jobs. because of family obligations, they may prefer Similarly, rural wage-earning women are part-time or seasonal jobs that are typically more likely than men to hold low-wage jobs lower paid. Social norms that confine women (Figure 6C), defined as paying less than the to certain sectors or phases of the supply median agricultural wage. In Malawi, more chain can further limit their opportunities for than 60 percent of women are in low-wage career growth and reinforce these sectors as jobs compared with fewer than 40 percent low-pay and low-status occupations. of men. The gap is even wider in Bangladesh, Average male wages are higher than where 80 percent of women and 40 percent of average female wages in rural and urban men have low-wage jobs. The only exception areas of the countries covered by the to this pattern was found in Panama. RIGA dataset (Figure 7). For example, in