Agriculture dominates economic life in Ethiopia, accounting for eightyfive
percent of employment, eighty percent of exports, and forty-four
percent of the gross domestic product. About forty-five percent of rural
Ethiopians live in poverty, and most farmers cultivate less than one
hectare. Much of the agricultural production is on a subsistence or semisubsistence
basis. The quality of public services such as support for
agriculture and education, health care, water, and sanitation in rural areas
is thus a pressing matter.
In most parts of the country, women are intimately involved in all
aspects of agricultural production, marketing, food procurement, and
household nutrition. Nevertheless, the view is widely held that women do
not farm. This cultural perception remains strong, even though numerous
agricultural tasks are deemed "women's work," including weeding,
harvesting, preparing storage containers, managing home gardens and
poultry raising, transporting farm inputs to the field, and procuring water
for household use and some on-farm uses
Cohen, Marc J. and Lemma, Mamusha
"Making Rural Services Work for Women and the Poor: An Institutional Analysis of Five Districts in Ethiopia,"
Yale Human Rights and Development Journal:
2, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yhrdlj/vol13/iss2/5