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April & May '20: Overdressed > Discussion: Women in agriculture.

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message 1: by Florian (last edited Jul 04, 2020 01:10AM) (new)

Florian (laughingflow) | 215 comments Hello everyone!

I've hesitated a bit before writing this thread due to the little knowledge I have in that field.

Recently, I've listened to a podcast focused on agriculture. Three young women were interviewed and they clearly mentioned that in Western countries agriculture was mainly male oriented. Here I mean there are more men who own crops field.
Those women went to South America and also noticed that agriculture was under males/men power. Indeed whenever a woman wanted to start something, males/men make decisions for her.

So I would like to discuss with you about women in agriculture. I'm sure we have many people from many countries and I'd be quite happy to read your point of view and to be showed information I probably don't know.

To what point agriculture is managed by males/men in your countries?
What positive outcomes would agriculture benefit from more not males/men land owners?
What could be the role of women (females or not females), in sustainable agriculture ?

You probably have other questions you want to approach so please write them in the comment.

Ps: Pam, let me know if you think the discussion would better fit in another section.

Have a wonderful day!

message 2: by Florian (new)

Florian (laughingflow) | 215 comments Also if you know any woman author talking about this topic please add her name in your comment.

To what I've heard. Vandana Shiva approach agriculture in her books (even though I've not read them).

message 3: by Pam (new)

Pam | 1070 comments Mod
This topic comes back to Eco-feminisim so I think this folder is fine.

Thanks Florian!

message 4: by SINDISWAONLINE (new)

SINDISWAONLINE | 1 comments I believe that women can play a huge role in cultivating a culture of sustainability and agriculture. Women have opportunities to start little gardens in their backyards and have house plants in their kitchens. Through this, they can train their children and ensure a future of sustainability.

message 5: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (michmarie92) | 3 comments I’m an eco farmer in Puerto Rico, as well as my husband, and we have a farm in the rural part of the island. We both fell in love with the idea of eco-agriculture while visiting an eco farm and decided to dedicate our lives to agriculture. But ever since that happened I have delt with a lot of criticism from older generations, particularly older women. I’ve been told by older family members that agriculture is not a profession for women, and when they ask about the farm they always direct their questions to my husband. My father didn’t even take me seriously until my husband explained our project to him (the same way I did). And when talking with older farmers around the area, most don’t even look at me during conversations and when they do it is to explain to me something I’ve made clear that I know. My husband and I are feminist, so we do bring to people’s attention the problem with their actions, but there are times it just doesn’t matter to them.

Women in my country have, for many generations, been subjected to this obedient follower role in rural parts of the island and you can see its repercussions. We don’t see many women with jobs in the department of agriculture, farmers, or even as agronomists. As of 2002, only 30% of agronomists where women (Vargas et al. 2004). And during the 5 years I’ve working as a farmer, I have yet to meet one.

I’ve seen how this cultural sexism prevents women from pursuing a life as a farmer. And is so frustrating because women are as capable and talented as men. The women that I know that are currently working as farmers have empowered so many others into realizing their own capabilities. In doing so many things that makes us grow as humans and feel diverse. Also, I have noticed that when women are involved in agriculture there is more sense of community, self help, solidarity and food sovereignty. Farm businesses exclusively managed by men tend to target national or international markets and are more mechanized and industrialized with less sense of community. But besides that, I just think that having more women will inspire future girls to take up space in this profession and any other profession they dream of and that nothing is off limits because of gender. We need that in our culture, and that’s why feminism is so important to me and something I talk about everywhere I go. I know we have a long way to go, but I’m very hopeful.

message 6: by Florian (new)

Florian (laughingflow) | 215 comments Thank you so much for sharing your feeling and experience about it Michelle!

message 7: by Imme (new)

Imme Thank you for sharing your experience Michelle, it sounds like you are doing such inspiring work.

Thanks for bringing this topic up Florian - agriculture is such an important topic. Most of the world's least developed countries rely on agriculture, and agriculture is at least 2 times more effective in reducing poverty than any other sector. A lot of donor and aid funding is flowing into the space but the role of women is often misunderstood.

Most of the millions of farmers in least developed countries are subsistence farmers and they have a farm as a family business, producing their own food and selling any excess. Women often work on these farms as unpaid labour, but as part of a range of other activities (childcare, housework, getting wood to make fire, etc.) and because of that don't "identify" as a farmer, while most men do. Culturally, men are the ones making the economic decision, selling the produce and in charge of the money earned. Legally, most women are not allowed to "own" the farm land (or any other asset).

I think you are right in assuming that men often make the decision for the women. I think women play a huge role in agriculture, but not as land owners, decision makers or economically empowered or even paid labourers.

Would agriculture benefit from women? Oh yes! We are facing a huge, looming (or existing) food security crisis and especially in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa more food needs to be produced locally to feed the growing population. There is a need for more, and more productive, sustainable agriculture and women are as qualified and able to do this as men.

That's my long rambling on this topic from more of a macro-level perspective. I'd love to hear from others!

message 8: by Abhishek (new)

Abhishek Abraham (lucifer007) | 12 comments Farming is not mainly male oriented there is a certain half which is done by the women they are preparing, storing, and processing food. There is only one problem women are facing in agriculture and it is less amount of payment in comparison to men. Men are given more importance because of the non development in the rural areas. Women do play a very important role in household and food. But they should be given an equal share.

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