Agriculture is the most important sector of many economies around the world. Agriculture not only supports the countries’ food basket but also contribute to revenue and employment in these countries. 80% of most developing countries depend on agriculture as a primary source of employment for both skilled and unskilled labor. Small-scale farmers have depended on family labor as a major factor of production. Most family farms are managed by women as the male counterparts search for work in industries and other commercial farms. Women play a major role in agriculture with 80% of farm producers and 70% of agricultural workers being women according to a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report. Even though women dominate farm workforce, most of the farms are owned by men. Some of the countries where women are most likely to work in the farms are discussed below.
Pakistan is a diverse country in tradition, habit, culture, and practices in all its provinces. Women in Pakistan constitute 50% of the total population. However, the majority of the women do not participate in most economic activities. Women participation in agriculture is spread across major farming activities as such 74 % of employed women are working in agriculture. Their involvement in agriculture depends on the type of crop, the kind of activity, the geographical area of the farm, and socioeconomic activity of the family. Most women work in cotton farms across Pakistan where they are mainly involved in weeding and picking of cotton.
Tanzania’s agricultural sector is considered women’s job because the majority of agricultural workers are women. 70% of the employed women work in the agricultural sector in Tanzania while most of the family farms are also managed by women. It is important to note that majority of these women working in agriculture are mainly in the rural areas. Women working in agriculture in Tanzania continue to face challenges of lack of machinery, inadequate inputs, and continued use of traditional farming technologies. Gender inequality, norms, and values in Tanzania has significantly affected the output of women working in agriculture.
The agricultural sector is critical to Gambian economy and accounts for 32% of the country’s GDP. 80% of the population is employed in agriculture while 38% of the employed women work in agriculture. Most women offer manual labor, especially in the rice field. Men rarely assist women in their work within the rice field because of the deep-rooted cultural rules on the role of women in the farm. Women farming are characterized by poor farming techniques and lack of proper machinery.
Low productivity and income have led to most women abandoning unpaid family farm labor to seeking for employment in large farms and industries. Women play a major role in agriculture with 34% of women employed working in agriculture. The low level of employment among women is because of the existing customary laws, norms, and traditions that are biased.
Important Roles of Females in Agriculture
Women play the critical role in agriculture across the world. Most of the family farms are managed by women while the men work in industries and other sectors of the economy. Some of the challenges faced by women working in agriculture are the unfavorable customary laws, traditions, and gender inequality. Most of the manual work on the farm is done by the women while machines are operated by men.