Feminization of Farming, Food Security and Female Empowerment

  • Citation: Asadullah, M. Niaz, and Uma Kambhampati. “Feminization of Farming, Food Security and Female Empowerment.” Global Food Security 29 (2021): 100532.
    • Topics:
    • Global Development
    • Keywords:
    • food security
    • female labor force participation
    • gender inequality
    • gender empowerment

While female labour force participation is on the decline in many parts of the developing world, female participation in agriculture is increasing worldwide. Our review of the literature however confirms that employment in farming has not yet brought about a transformation in female lives and therefore does not seem to serve as a pathway to empowerment. Our review also highlights that empowered women improve household food security. In the context of these two findings, we conclude that if the feminization of farming is to improve female empowerment and also household food security, it will require critical policy interventions in the agricultural sector and beyond. These would include the monetization and economic recognition of female labour and a much-needed shift in social norms towards encouraging shared responsibility between men and women within marriage. Only when women’s employment in farming becomes a means to their empowerment will female participation in agriculture serve as an effective path to global food security.

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