Redefine Gender Roles in Agriculture

by | Dec 19, 2023 | Ecofeminism | 0 comments

Article by Wen Su

Photo by Elaine Casap on Unsplash


Within agriculture, a new era is unfolding, challenging age-old gender stereotypes and embracing inclusivity is guiding us toward a new world of farming practice.

Redefining gender roles in agriculture involves challenging and reshaping traditional expectations and divisions of labour within the agricultural sector. This redefinition aims to empower women, acknowledge their important roles in agricultural production.


  1. Ensure women on equal access to resources

Ensuring equal opportunities for women in agriculture is pivotal for transforming farming practices and cultivating an environment of fairness. Unfortunately, on a global scale, more than 2.7 billion women face significant difficulty in securing employment, due to unjust legal frameworks (source: World Bank, 2022). This disparity is also evident in the agricultural sector, where women encounter barriers in accessing crucial resources such as loans, land, technology, and education. Sorting out this issue isn’t just about fairness; it’s about strengthening the agricultural landscape for the benefit of all. When women are restricted from accessing these necessities, it hampers their ability to contribute effectively, consequently impeding overall productivity in our general society. In other words, it’s a both-lose situation.

Granting women equal access, beyond its moral imperative, aims to foster innovation, diversification, and resilience within the farming sphere. Ultimately, this equitable approach will pave the way for a stronger and sustainable agricultural future, benefiting communities worldwide.


  1. Land ownership

The issue of women’s land ownership varies across different societies and countries. For instance, in various regions across sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and parts of Latin America, historical and cultural norms have often favoured men in terms of land ownership, limiting women’s access to land. Past land policies in these regions, influenced by traditional customs and legal frameworks, have often marginalized women, contributing to their limited ownership of land. This historical context has significantly impacted women’s ability to access resources, perpetuating economic disparities and hindering their empowerment.

From a sociological perspective, the evolving discussions and emerging trends in these regions are gradually challenging traditional norms and highlighting the necessity for more inclusive land policies. Societal conversations, driven by a growing emphasis on gender equality and women’s rights, are fostering a shift in the discourse on women’s land ownership. These ongoing conversations offer an interesting glimpse into how future land policies might address the historical disparity, potentially leading to more equitable land ownership rights for both women and men. This shift, if implemented effectively, could empower women, improve their access to resources, and contribute to broader economic and social development in these regions.


  1. Decision-making

Gender differences in approaches to problem-solving reveal women’s decision-making plays an extremely important role in our societies. The article “How Women and Men Think Differently” by Doug Bradbury emphasizes that women’s broader mindsets can make a significant contribution to more comprehensive and effective solutions within teams compared to men’s more focused approaches. As Doug Bradbury (2014) points out, integrating different perspectives can help make better decisions by considering multiple aspects of the problem. Moreover, historical examples, such as the first female Emperor in the Tang Dynasty, demonstrated women’s successful leadership and governance, showing that women are fully capable of leading at the highest levels. Moreover, most feminist groups today are successfully led by women. Recognizing gender differences, recognizing successful examples of women’s leadership, and embracing diverse thinking patterns create opportunities for the future to create an equal and inclusive environment for men and women.

By leveraging the comprehensive advantages of different perspectives, societies and agriculture can promote innovative, more robust problem-solving, and comprehensive decision-making processes, thereby benefiting from the complementarity of both sexes and forming a more balanced and equitable society.


Final thought

The redefinition of gender roles in agriculture represents a key shift in inclusive and equal opportunities. Addressing women’s differences in access to resources, land ownership, and decision-making is crucial to creating a more prosperous and sustainable future in global agricultural communities. Promoting a mixed and all-inclusive farming environment, ensuring equal access to resources, land ownership, and decision-making power for women, will lead to a more equitable future, promoting a world where both men and women contribute equally.


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