Dairying helps increase female participation in ag

It’s International Rural Women’s Day on which we learn:

. . . more than a third of the female workforce is engaged in agriculture, while in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, more than 60 per cent of all female employment is in this sector.1 To afford food and other basic expenses, men and women in rural areas often diversify their income by combining multiple forms of employment. Women generally work as subsistence farmers, small-scale entrepreneurs, unpaid workers on family farms or casual wage labourers – but they may take on all or a number of these activities at different times.

In general countries with more women in the rural workforce tend to be poorer.

In wealthier countries men are more likely to work in agriculture and rural support and servicing industries.

However, the number of women in what were once jobs regarded as mainly male preserves is increasing.

More women are actively involved in farming, and are increasingly likely to be found at work in the paddock and in governance and other supporting roles.

One reason for that is the increase of dairying. Two of our three sharemilkers are women and four of the six staff they employ are too.

2 Responses to Dairying helps increase female participation in ag

  1. Richard says:

    HP interesting figures from your farm.
    “In general countries with more women in the rural workforce tend to be poorer. ” Yes, this probably so. But traditionally in third world countries women do most of the work – food, water, etc whereas men did very little. Perhaps we should be pleased that the 60% is going down in poorer countries- men are taking up more work. Although your farmer may have a different strategy- more women, less work for him?


  2. homepaddock says:

    Women tend to do the work in third world countries when they have to do it by hand, men get involved when machines are introduced.

    But the introduction of machinery is usually a sign of economic development so the lowering percentage of women in this sort of work is as you note a positive development.

    Employing sharemilkers – male or female – means my farmer doesn’t have to do that work. Experience tells me that doesn’t mean he does less work – he just does different work 🙂


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