Myths about the feminization of agriculture: Implications for global food security


August 31, 2021

PIM Webinar
September 14, 2021, 10:00 am – 11:00 am EDT


The feminization of agriculture is a term used to describe women’s increased roles in agriculture in many parts of the world. However, the changes occurring in the agricultural sector are more complex than this term suggests.

In this webinar, we will present and discuss finding of a new paper on myths about the feminization of agriculture, which resulted from the PIM-supported project on Feminization of Agriculture: Building evidence to debunk myths on current challenges and opportunities

Drawing on a wide range of literature, this paper debunks four common myths: 1) feminization of agriculture is the predominant global trend; 2) feminization is bad for agriculture; 3) the women remaining in agriculture are passive victims and not farmers; and 4) women farmers everywhere face similar challenges as the rural sector transforms. We argue that there are a wide range of changes happening regarding rural labor, for both men and women. Women’s increased roles in agriculture may offer opportunities for gender transformation under certain conditions but may be disempowering under other conditions. We discuss implications of these changes for global food security agenda toward gender equity and equality in the agricultural sector.


Cheryl Doss, Associate Professor and Senior Departmental Lecturer in development economics at the Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford, and leader of the Cross-Cutting Gender Research and Coordination flagship in PIM.

Nozomi Kawarazuka, Scientist, International Potato Center (CIP).


Frank Place, Director, CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM).

Photo: Georgina Smith/CIAT

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