Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

2019 Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Women in Agriculture

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1179-9_579


The agricultural sector is stereotypically viewed as a masculine domain with a heavy emphasis on physical labor and mechanized fieldwork, yet women are responsible for a comparable portion of agricultural labor. Depending upon the region and the type of agricultural activity, women can account for as little as 20 % of the labor force, such as in the case of Latin America, or upward of 60 % in areas such as Lesotho, Mozambique, and Sierra Leone. On average in developing nations, women comprise 43 % of the agricultural labor force (FAO 2011). Women’s work is conducted in a multitude of settings including, but not limited to, commercial or industrial farming, subsistence farming, organic farming, and the raising and production of livestock. Accurate output numbers are difficult to calculate as women are frequently underrepresented in the agriculture industry due to perceived gender roles and the belief that women are expected merely to help on family farms and do not...

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of Student Engagement and Experiential LearningNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geography, Women, Gender and Sexuality StudiesNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA
  3. 3.Department of GeographyWomen’s Studies Program, Northern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA