Rural Women, Food Security, and the Right to the Land

*This is an excerpt from PKKK’s Rural Women Status Report on CEDAW 2011.


Rural women secure our food – in the family, they do subsistence gardening and livestock raising to provide food on the table; in the national level, they engage in primary crops production such as rice, corn, coconut, sugar, and vegetables.  Studies show that in food production, women work 25 hours longer than men do in a week[1], which is estimated to account for 45 to 60 percent of food production in Asia.

In the Philippines, the  women in agriculture spend as much as eight to eleven hours a day in productive and reproductive work—i.e. acquiring capital for farming (usually through credit), carrying out planting activities, marketing the primary crop and backyard produce, and providing for their household’s daily survival needs. They also spend from one to six hours daily for domestic work, which includes activities like preparing farm tools and food for farm laborers, fetching water, gardening, foraging, wood gathering, raising poultry and livestock, and other livelihood activities. During the off-season, the women in agriculture spend more time in domestic chores, as well as augmenting cash income.   They accomplish these things because at the end of the day, rural women bear the responsibility of producing food on the table.  In fact, 60 percent of rural women exercise sole decision-making in their family households over what food to prepare for the family[2].

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