Is agricultural labour feminizing in South and South East Asia: Analysis of demography and health services data on women and work
The term ‘feminization of agriculture’ is generally used to indicate an expansion of women’s engagement in agricultural production, as labourers or decision-makers. Feminization of agriculture is often reported as a global trend.
While literature on feminization of agriculture has seen a steady rise in the last decade, there is little consensus on defining feminization of agriculture and consistent approaches that provide comparative quantitative data on feminization of agriculture are lacking.
This compromises the ability to provide a comparative understanding of the extent of feminization across various regions.
In a new research paper published in Frontiers in Sustainable Development (July 2023), scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute report on their development of a methodological approach to assessing the extent of feminization of agriculture and deploying it on demographic and health survey data from south and southeast Asia.
The study data show that in Cambodia, India, Indonesia and Nepal, the trend has been towards a masculinization of agriculture between 2005 and 2017, while no trend could be determined for the Philippines.
The authors discuss the implications of the study findings while highlighting some of the limitations of their approach and suggesting possible next research steps.
Oloo, S., Galiè, A. and Teufel, N. 2023. Is agricultural labour feminizing in South and South East Asia: analysis of demography and health services data on women and work. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 7: 1114503.