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Gender gaps and female labour participation in agriculture in Nigeria

Abiodun Elijah Obayelu (Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria)
Agatha Osivweneta Ogbe (Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria)
Sarah E. Edewor (Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria)

African Journal of Economic and Management Studies

ISSN: 2040-0705

Article publication date: 24 September 2019

Issue publication date: 11 June 2020

238

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is threefold: to assess the gender gaps and the patterns of female workforce in agriculture; to examine the level of household decision making among the principal males and females in the household; and to estimate the time spent by the principal males and females in the household by activities in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

The study made use of secondary data obtained from various sources such as published articles, research reports, unpublished discussion paper, policy documents, national and international databases (World Bank World Development Indicators, United Nations Development Programme and the ECOWAS-RAAF-PASANAO survey conducted in Nigeria in 2017), and position papers. The information gathered covers a range of empirical and conceptual issues relating to labour, share of women contributing to agriculture and other gender-related issues. The study covered 1,747 maize and/or rice producing households spread across 141 farming communities in 16 states in Nigeria using a multi-stage sampling technique.

Findings

It was interesting to note that an average male was older and had more educational qualification than their female counterparts. In the same vein, he owned more assets (virgin lands, other plots and buildings) when compared with their female counterparts and earned higher incomes from farming and other labour activities with the exception of trading. Furthermore, the result revealed females spent more time taking care of children, cooking and schooling than their male counterparts. It can therefore be concluded that a gender gap exists in agricultural labour participation with the males playing dominant roles as compared with their female counterparts. Analysis of women’s agricultural should not neglect the structural bases of their inequality.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited by lack of enough data base on women’s and men’s engagement in labour force and on agricultural activities which can be analysed for policy formulation and implementation.

Social implications

The paper elucidates some of the possible social, economic and biological implications of changes in women’s work and their participation in agriculture in Nigeria.

Originality/value

The paper is original in nature and will add value to the integration of women into the development process in Nigeria.

Keywords

Citation

Obayelu, A.E., Ogbe, A.O. and Edewor, S.E. (2020), "Gender gaps and female labour participation in agriculture in Nigeria", African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 285-300. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJEMS-03-2019-0128

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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