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

This article aims to revisit the commonly held belief that women in Sub-Saharan Africa are responsible for 60–80% of the agricultural labor supplied, a figure that traces back to an undocumented quote in a more general study of women’s contribution to development in 1972. Researchers found that across the six African countries examined in the study, the female share of labor only came out to a substantially lower 40%. The findings question prevailing assertions regarding substantial gains in aggregate crop output as a result of increasing female agricultural productivity and point to possible gender and knowledge biases in reporting.

Palacios-Lopez, A., Christiaensen, L., Kilic, T. Food Policy (February 2017). Vol. 67, pp. 52-63.