Gender is a crosscutting issue that attracts the attention of development professionals, policy makers and politicians. It is due to the fact that in any development, interventions involvement of women has become compulsory. To this end, considering the roles of men and women is very important, and gender roles vary across culture. In Ethiopia where agriculture is the backbone of the economy, the participation of women in the field is very high. Though men are taking the lion’s share in agricultural production, the contribution of women has also been an undeniable fact. Rural Ethiopian women must work up to twice as many hours per day compared to men, since they are primarily responsible for their households, including gathering firewood and water, cooking, cleaning, and providing child care. The contribution of women to agricultural and food production is significant but it is impossible to verify empirically the share produced by women. This paper re-affirms that women make essential contributions to agriculture and rural enterprises across the developing world. But there is much diversity in women’s roles and over-generalization undermines policy relevance and planning.
Key words: Gender, women, gender role, agricultural extension.
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