Rural women play a key role in the livestock management and household activities. However, it is often argued that their contributions are undermined and their decision making power is highly limited. This study was carried out in Yilmana Densa district in Amhara Region, Ethiopia with the objectives to investigate the role of rural women in livestock and household activities, and to examine the level of rural women participation in decision making. Three villages were selected purposefully and from each village 30 women respondents were selected randomly. Data were collected from the respondents using standardized questionnaire and focus group discussions (FGDs), and analyzed using descriptive statistics and correlation analysis. The majority of rural women participated ‘regularly’ in cleaning of animal sheds, preparing milk products, gathering dung, selling milk/milk products, selling egg/poultry, and egg collection. In household management, majority of rural women are ‘regularly’ engaged in food preparation, looking after all family members, preparing local beverages, cleaning the house, clean-up after meals, washing clothes, child care, fetching water, and embroidery. Capacitating rural women in all rounded developmental aspects can affect their livelihoods which enables them actively participate in various agricultural and non-agricultural activities. Maximum attention should be given for rural women to build their capabilities in decision making. Moreover, appropriate ways and approaches to educate rural women should be given more emphasis to get equal access with rural women.
Key words: Decision, household and livestock management, participation, rural women.
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