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The Political Economy of Hunger: Volume 1: Entitlement and Well-being$
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Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198286356

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198286356.001.0001

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Rural Women and Food Production in Sub‐Saharan Africa *

Rural Women and Food Production in Sub‐Saharan Africa *

(p.425) 11 Rural Women and Food Production in Sub‐Saharan Africa*
The Political Economy of Hunger: Volume 1: Entitlement and Well-being

Ann Whitehead

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that many of the common beliefs about African women's role in food production are myths, and that there is nothing intrinsic to women that is attributable to sub-Saharan African food crises. The dual role of African women in production (i.e., women's independent farming and her recruitment as household labour) has been affected by economic transformation and development policies. For a woman, it has become increasingly difficult to undertake independent farming and she has presently less control over the proceeds of production and is also less able to protect the interests of her children. Modeling based on purely economic consideration is inadequate, as evidence shows that female farmers face resource problems for their independent farming and incentive problems in their household farming, thus worsening females' relative position. However, there are opportunities for expansion based on a greater use of a woman's role as independent producers.

Keywords:   female farming, Sub-Saharan Africa, food crisis, rural economic transformation, development policies

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