Men and women in agriculture: closing the gap
 

Women in agriculture and rural areas have one thing in common across regions: they have less access than men to productive resources and opportunities.

The gender gap exists for many assets, inputs and services, including land, livestock, labour, education, extension and financial services, and technology. It imposes costs not only on women themselves, but on the agriculture sector, the broader economy and society as a whole.

Closing the gender gap in agriculture would generate significant gains for the agriculture sector and for society. If women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20–30 percent.

Female farmers are just as efficient as male farmers but they produce less because they control less land, use fewer inputs and have less access to important services such as extension advice.

When women control additional income, they spend more of it than men do on food, health, clothing and education for their children. This has positive implications for immediate well-being, long-run human capital formation and economic growth through improved health, nutrition and education outcomes.

Women are less likely than men to own land or livestock, adopt new technologies, use credit or other financial services, or receive education or extension advice. In some cases, women do not even control the use of their own time.

The vast majority of literature reviewed confirms that women are just as efficient as men and would achieve the same yields if they had equal access to productive resources and services.

Evidence from Africa, Asia and Latin America consistently shows that families benefit when women have greater status and power within the household.

Education

Education

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Financial services

Financial services

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Information and extension

Information and extension

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Land

Land

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Livestock

Livestock

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Decent rural employment and farm labour

Decent rural employment and farm labour

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Technologies

Technologies

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SOFA 2010-2011
Gender

Contact

FAO Gender Programme
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

email: gender@fao.org
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