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"The role of women in agriculture"
The World Farmers' Organisation is arranging in the framework of the CFS a side event
19 October 2012


The seminar ”The Role of the Women in Agriculture” will discuss different positions on the role of the women in agriculture. These positions can also vary from region to region (the situation in Asia is different from that inAfrica, Latin America, Europe and North America). The seminar will also discuss the manner in which cooperatives may support women’s work in agriculture. Despite the fact that women make up over 75% of agricultural workers and livestock keepers in developing countries and are responsible for their families’ food security, they face significant difficulties in accessing natural resources, securing property ownership, knowledge, services and markets, which hinder their productive capacity.

There is a strong correlation between women's economic opportunity and access to affordable, safe food. Women make up over half of agricultural workers and livestock keepers in developing countries, and bear the primary responsibility for their families food security. Yet they face significant gaps in accessing natural resources, knowledge, services and markets, which hinder their productive capacity.

The women in agriculture would be done the same activity that the agricultural men or another and what kind of activities are more adequate? This position depends of the region in the world because the situation in Asia is different that the situation in Africa and in Latin America.

The situation is different in developed and in developing countries. Women comprise 43 percent of the agricultural labour force, on average, in developing countries; this figure ranges from around 20 percent in Latin America to 50 percent in parts of Africa and Asia, but it exceeds 60 percent in only a few countries (FAO, 2010a). Critics argue that labour force statistics underestimate the contribution of women to agricultural work because women are less likely to declare themselves as employed in agriculture and they work longer hours than men (Beneria, 1981), but evidence from time-use surveys does not suggest that women perform most of the agricultural labour in the developing world.

During the seminar it will be possible discuss where the agricultural women has the better position in the agriculture into the rural production chain and how the cooperatives could support the work of women in agriculture.

The issues affecting women in agriculture are complex, and the solutions require coordinated efforts from all actors.

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