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ISSN: 2637-4676

Current Investigations in Agriculture and Current Research

Short Communication(ISSN: 2637-4676)

Role of Women in Agricultural and Rural Development in West Africa Volume 6 - Issue 1

SIMPEREGUI Yvette B1, MIASSI Yann ES2* and DOSSA Fabrice K3

  • 1Department of Rural Economics and Sociology, Benin
  • 2Department of Agricultural Economics, Turkey
  • 3Department of Agricultural Economics, Nigeria

Received: January 16, 2019;   Published: January 22, 2019

Corresponding author: MIASSI Yann ES, Department of Agricultural Economics, Turkey

DOI: 10.32474/CIACR.2019.06.000230

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Short Communication

In Africa, women perform the majority of agricultural activities. They are the key to the well- being of their families [1]. In Benin, like other West African countries, women are in high demand in the agricultural sector. Agriculture is the main activity of the population, especially in rural areas, with women accounting for 42.2% of the 65.5% of active population [2]. Among the activities carried out by these women we can mention the agricultural exploitation, food transformation, trade in agricultural products [2]. These activities allow them to spend the expenses assigned to them in the household and thus play their roles as foster mothers. Among the expenses we have the expenses of feeding, education of the children, clothing, religious ceremonies, expenses of health [3]. This explains the presence of women in several fields of activity with the aim of diversifying their sources of income and thus ensuring their roles as housewives. This paper highlights the role of women in rural areas.

Role of Women in Agricultural Production

In agricultural production, nearly 70% of the workforce is female [4]. Women participate in sowing, weeding, harvesting, and storing crops [5]. It should be noted that this work is carried out by women and children in the family fields as a caregiver. However, they may also be labor for money or without remuneration provided that the labor “offered” is returned to them later. Among the main productions, we have corn, beans and soybeans. Women are also found in the production of food crops such as okra, tomato, amaranth, etc which are sold in local markets to feed their family members [6]. As women are highly sought after as agricultural laborers, they represent a potential actor in the production of agricultural products.

Importance of Women in their Rural Households

Women are very dynamic economic agents AFDB, 2015. In the household, they are expected to assume certain responsibilities that influence their ability to carry out economic activities [7]. These responsibilities include cooking, raising children, child health costs, clothing, water and wood gathering [8]. Indeed, women add a portion of their agricultural products to that provided by the household head to provide food for the family [9]. The other part is sold, and the income is used for the purchase of condiments, children’s health expenses, children’s education and clothing. Women, conscious of the weight of their responsibilities and having no remuneration, are turning to income-generating activities in order to diversify their sources of income [10]. In the household, although the head of the household provides some of the household’s food, there are still important responsibilities for the woman. In addition to the functions listed above, it is also responsible for processing agricultural products before consumption. It must therefore be remembered that, through its multiple functions, women represent the “heart” of the household for which they are responsible.


  1. UNESCO (2017) UNESCO and Gender Equality in Sub-Saharan Africa, Innovative Programs, Results, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France, pp. 107.
  2. Houinsa DG (2013) Review of the contribution of women to household resources, Final report, p. 50.
  3. UNDP (2012) Women’s Contribution to Household Spending and Poverty Reduction in Maradi, Report, p. 67.
  4. Dekens J, Vivek Voora (2014) Rural women, shadow women: key development partners, The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), p. 6.
  5. Diouf Ndiaye A (2013) Women and local development in Senegal: the role of women’s associations in the peanut basin: the example of Diourbel (PhD Thesis). University Michel de Montaigne - Bordeaux3, pp. 527.
  6. Carracillo C (2013) Women - Gender - Development: Achievements and Issues, Mutual Aid and Fraternity, Analysis, p. 12.
  7. CTA (1999) Women’s Economic Role in Agricultural and Rural Development: Promotion of Income-Generating Activities, Synthesis Report of a Seminar, p. 64.
  8. Baudouin MA (2008) Rural women and gender, p. 12.
  9. BAD (2015) Gender Equality Index in Africa, Empowering African Women: Action Plan, p. 42.
  10. Houinsa DG (2013) Review of the literature of the study on gender relations and their impact on social life in Benin, Final report, pp. 134.