Gender norms and agency in the Afghanistan agriculture sector: policy brief


Women seem to play a bigger role in farming decisions than is generally assumed. For example, women make food, nutrition and budgeting choices, including how much of the wheat harvest is consumed versus sold. Women are not considered farmers and yet tend to livestock and crops close to the household, help with post-harvest handling and processing within the household, and perform any on-farm activities allocated by the household head. Women do more of the on-farm work when living in poor households. Yet, gender norms and sex segregation mean women do not have the same access to technical agriculture information. The adoption rates of new agricultural practices would increase if extension services could reach more women in a culturally-appropriate, heterogeneous manner. For example, some women prefer to learn as a group through consultations and workshops. More research on gender inequality in agriculture could help identify opportunities to expand the benefits of wheat-related innovations such as new methods of planting and growing crops, for more women and poor households