Thursday, March 17, 2016

Gender Roles in Bhutanese Agriculture

Gender refers to the social roles that men and women play and the power relations between them and is not based on biological differences between men and women or sex. Gender is shaped by culture, social relations, and natural environments. Thus, depending on values, norms, customs and laws men and women in different parts of the world have evolved different gender roles.

Bhutan is a predominantly agrarian economy with 60.20% of the total population practicing subsistence farming. Agriculture sector contributed 15.70% of the over-all GDP in 2011 and 60% of the labour force as per Labour Force Survey 2011. However, gender studies especially focusing on agriculture are limited and the key role played by women in agriculture is still largely unclear or unacknowledged. Further, National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) states that many government organizations considers “the household” as the economic and social unit for data collection and  thus information available does not specify how assets, resources and works are allocated among the male and female members of the household and their decision making power.

Therefore, this study aims to find out roles of men and women in agriculture including different socially determined ideas and practices which define what roles and activities are deemed appropriate for men and women (gender division of labour) and their relations, dynamics of how different resources that are generated within, or which come into the household are controlled and accessed by its different members (intra-household resource distribution), and decision-making processes as men and women often use resources differently and manage their resources in different ways. The outcome of this study would identify different needs of men and women facilitating gender mainstreaming in agriculture plans, policies and programs. 

Bhutanese Farmers

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