Gender Roles in Agriculture: The Case of Afghanistan
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Technological interventions aiming to improve livelihoods that bring gender equity can become successful only when the prevailing gender roles in society and access to different livelihood opportunities are fully understood. This article analyses gender roles in agriculture in the conservative patriarchal society of Afghanistan. Rapid appraisal was conducted through focus group interviews, participatory resource mapping, and so on, in seven villages each from Nangarhar and Baghlan provinces of Afghanistan. Educated women coordinators, facilitators and activists and well established womens’ groups were used to reach and target key women informants as they are not allowed to interact directly with male researchers. Their participation was more in livestock related activities. The study indicated that women’s involvement was less than men’s in both livestock and crop related activities. Age, social stigmas, poverty and shortage of labour influence the gender division of labour, decision-making ability and participation in Afghanistan’s farm and non-farm activities. This indicates that any agricultural development programme intending to involve women will be effective only if it has a large component of livestock related activities.
- ICARDA