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Annex II: The role of women in livestock production

Annex II: The role of women in livestock production


Role of Women in Livestock Production


Women have primary responsibility for livestock production, constituting 45 % of all work needed in this domain. With the exception of shearing, women are responsible for all other activities such as milking, cleaning and feeding animals, and in cheese-making and the production of other dairy products.


According to a PRA study of 50 families in the governorate of Dakahlia in 1994, women were more active than men in milking, and in the marketing and processing of milk and animal products. While a large number of surveyed farms indicated that they consumed a portion of the milk and milk products which they produced, all households that kept farm animals sold most of the calf meat for income.


In spite of a growing commercial poultry and livestock industry, women remain active in small-scale poultry and egg production, as well as in raising and feeding farm animals used for traction, meat, dairy products and wool.


Livestock production is shared between men and women.


All activities relating to livestock production, with the exception of health care and marketing, are women's responsibility. About 80% of animal products are for home consumption, with the exception of some milk, which is often sold to neighbours.


Watering of livestock is mainly carried out by men. Women are responsible for milk processing and transforming milk into by-products, and in tanning hides and leather-making. About 70% of the work relating to raising cows, birds and poultry, is carried out by women.


With the exception of marketing, women are involved in all aspects of livestock production, and their roles appear to vary according to zone. Women in marginal rainfed areas have a greater responsibility for livestock production than their counterparts in favourable rainfed areas or irrigated areas. In marginal rainfed areas, women and girls are responsible for feeding, watering and cleaning sheep pens, while in irrigated zones, women and men share the responsibility in feeding. About 10% of women in this zone are involved in marketing livestock.

Domestic animal husbandry is the most important economic activity for women in rural Morocco. Women are in charge of feeding, maintenance, milking and butter-making. Approximately 77%, 76%, 43% and 81% of all women surveyed were active in dairy, sheep, goat and bird husbandry, respectively, and 70%, 39%, 74% and 76% of the work needed in dairy, sheep, goat and bird husbandry is provided by women, respectively. Moreover, according to an RRA study conducted in 1994, the majority of primary and secondary animal products are used for commercial, rather than for domestic purposes. In spite of women's heavy involvement in livestock production, it is usually the men who own livestock, with the exception of 10% of women in irrigated zones.


of sing livestock. Women and men are responsible for herding sheep and goats.


Role of Women in Livestock Production


Pastoral women have a pivotal role in livestock management, trading and in selling milk and ghee.


Women are primarily responsible for milking and processing animal by-products, while men are involved in all other activities, with the exception of goat husbandry, in which women share equal responsibility with men.


Women are responsible for all activities relating to livestock production, such as milking, feeding, watering and cleaning barns, while men are responsible for vaccination and trimming.


Women are responsible for feeding and watering livestock, as well as for milking and processing. Men are responsible for herding, marketing, gathering fodder and health care, with the exception of goats, whose health is the concern of women and men jointly. Men and women market cattle and goats, whereas men are responsible for marketing sheep. Women are also responsible for all aspects of poultry production such as feeding, watering and processing by-products, with the exception of poultry health, which is the concern of men. Men have primary responsibility for bee-keeping, with the exception of processing by-products, which are tasks carried out by women. Finally, women are responsible for all aspects of sericulture, with the exception of marketing, which is carried out by men.


Women herd cows, while both men and women herd sheep and goats. Approximately 88% of the work required for livestock production is carried out by women. Women gather fodder, feed, water, milk, and are involved in health care, while men are primarily involved in livestock marketing.

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