chapter  5
27 Pages

Gender, employment and the rural labour market

WithJo Little

This chapter provides an overview of existing research on gender divisions within the rural labour market. It identifies the principal characteristics of male and female participation in paid work and discusses the major differences in the experiences and opportunities of men and women in the rural labour market. Research on the labour of farmers' wives has also been extended to consider women's roles in farm diversification – their involvement in a variety of farm-based and off-farm enterprises beyond the scope of the traditional forms of agricultural production – and the centrality of such work to the profitability of the farm business. The domestic and community responsibilities of women, the activities and interests of other members of the household, the attitudes of the family, the community and employers, for example, all act to influence the practical and ideological contexts of women's employment.