Handbooks of Research on International Political Economy series
Edited by Alessandro Bonanno and Lawrence Busch
Chapter 17: Gender and the international political economy of agri-food
Gender relations are key to agriculture and the political economy of food. Gender inequalities in employment, land ownership, access to technology, and access to markets disadvantages women, their families, and lessens food security. Understanding how these gender equalities shift with changes in the political economy of agri-food systems is important for scholars and policy makers. Women provide much of the labor in agriculture in many regions of the world. Measuring the exact contribution of women and men as agricultural workers is difficult due to a number of factors such as poor sex-disaggregated data availability (Deere 2005), undercounting of women’s work on family farms, and undercounting of casual or unauthorized workers. The most recent data suggests that women comprise 43 percent of the global agricultural labor force (FAO 2010) (see Table 17.1). Regions with the highest proportion of women agricultural workers are Sub-Saharan Africa (48.7 percent), Northern Africa (42.8 percent), and Asia (41 percent). Women comprise a smaller percentage of agricultural workers in Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, and North America.
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