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Working Paper

How Much of the Labor in African Agriculture Is Provided by Women?

LIVING STANDARDS EMPLOYMENT FARM EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FERTILIZER PRODUCTION ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION PREMISES FOOD CONSUMPTION INCOME AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES AGRICULTURAL HOUSEHOLDS LABOR ALLOCATION RURAL WOMEN LEGUMES QUINONES PESTICIDE INFORMATION LABOR FORCE ANIMALS HOUSING PLANTING DATA ON WOMEN EFFECTS INCENTIVES HEALTH IFPRI AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS LABOR STATISTICS RURAL YOUTH PROJECT FEMALE HEADED HOUSEHOLDS FARM INCOME TOWNS LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION ASSOCIATIONS SMALL TOWNS AGRICULTURAL OUTPUT OIL PALM INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE KNOWLEDGE MAIZE SUNFLOWER CROP PRODUCTION CEREALS DISEASES CASH CROPS DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS DWELLING FARM EMPLOYMENT PRODUCTIVITY LABOR PRODUCTIVITY PALM OIL MARKETS ORGANIZATIONS FRUITS VEGETABLES FIELD WORK SUGAR CANE INDICATORS RESEARCH FARMING LIVESTOCK STANDARDS LABOR FARMERS JUTE PLOWING ANIMAL PRODUCTION COCOA CULTIVATED LAND TOBACCO CROPS FOOD PRODUCTION DESIGN FEMALE LABOR PRODUCE FACTOR MARKETS FOOD SECURITY TEA CROP PARTICIPATION ECOLOGICAL ZONES VALUE GENDER CULTIVATION FARM ACTIVITIES TUBERS MAIZE PRODUCTION REPORTS HOUSEHOLD COFFEE AGRICULTURE FAO YOUTH FARM WORK MARKET HARVESTING AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES ECONOMICS MANAGEMENT COTTON DEGRADATION LAND LAND PRODUCTIVITY AGRICULTURAL LABOR SECURITY EDUCATION FEMALES SUGARCANE WORKING CONDITIONS RISK FARM FOOD CROPS HOUSEHOLDS RURAL AREAS CROP AGRICULTURE FOOD SUPPLY EDIBLE CROPS LABOR ALLOCATION DECISIONS SUPPLY AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY HOUSES YIELDS PRODUCTION ACTIVITIES CHILD LABOR LIVELIHOODS COMMUNITY GREEN REVOLUTION WOMEN AGRICULTURAL FARMING SYSTEMS LABOUR FOOD PROCESSING LABOR MARKETS TECHNOLOGIES OUTCOMES RURAL DEVELOPMENT GUM ARABIC FEMALE SOIL QUALITY SUGAR
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Sub-Saharan Africa
2015-07-14T21:06:10Z | 2015-07-14T21:06:10Z | 2015-06

The contribution of women to labor in African agriculture is regularly quoted in the range of 60 to 80 percent. Using individual-disaggregated, plot-level labor input data from nationally representative household surveys across six Sub-Saharan African countries, this study estimates the average female labor share in crop production at 40 percent. It is slightly above 50 percent in Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda, and substantially lower in Nigeria (37 percent), Ethiopia (29 percent), and Niger (24 percent). There are no systematic differences across crops and activities, but female labor shares tend to be higher in households where women own a larger share of the land and when they are more educated. Controlling for the gender and knowledge profile of the respondents does not meaningfully change the predicted female labor shares. The findings question prevailing assertions regarding substantial gains in aggregate crop output as a result of increasing female agricultural productivity.

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