180 | East and South Asia and the Pacific (ESAP) Report

quire that appropriate institutional arrangements, policies and investments be put in place to address the combined utilization of a variety of tools and technologies in optimal as well as marginal areas. Both the rates and levels of invest­ments will need to increase if technologies are to address development and sustainability goals in the region. Further, enabling a more integrated approach to the use of the suite of agricultural systems and technologies described above to improve agricultural productivity at minimal cost to hu­man health and the natural resource base will require a clear understanding of the complexities and regional variations that govern agriculture in the ESAP region. Thus, to truly address development and sustainability goals, investments must target not only agricultural research, technologies, services and capacities, but also infrastructure interventions that improve credit availability, health facilities and pro­grams, roads, markets and electricity and fuel access and affordability.

5.5      Gender Inequality and Social Exclusion in ESAP Agriculture
Social exclusion derives from exclusionary relationships based on power and hierarchy and intersects with other aspects of social disadvantage, such as gender, caste, eth­nicity, religious minority status. It is a multidimensional process that prevents individuals or groups from access to institutions of governance, public services like health care and education and economic resources as well as factors of production. Given increasing feminization of agricul­ture, the widespread gender-based inequalities in access to and control of productive resources throughout the ESAP region will be discussed here. These inequalities are linked with women's lower access to employment opportunities, social structures and institutions of governance and public services, such as healthcare, education and training for skill development.
     Many labor market inequalities, the process of infor-malization, the lack of security and voice and the discrimi­nations to which particular groups are subject are aspects of social exclusion. Thus, effectively addressing social exclu­sion requires action within the labor market. Exclusion from formal employment may lead to open unemployment or to different forms of informal work and under-employment, denying the dignity of livelihood in numerous cases.

5.5.1      Feminization of agriculture
Although the phenomenon of increasing feminization of ag­riculture within the ESAP region has drawn policy attention in recent years, its causes, extent and impact on women and productivity have not been sufficiently considered in policy implementation. Insufficient attention has been paid to ar­eas where women are most active, such as crops and veg­etable cultivation, forest regeneration and wasteland and watershed development, resulting in women's contributions and concerns remaining invisible in planning and ignored in AKST institutions (Sujaya, 2006). Further, the stress on self-employment and dependence on credit in most land-based economic activities has meant that women, who are mostly landless in many ESAP countries, are generally not eligible for assistance.


     Rural women have an important role in the livestock sector (such as animal care, grazing, fodder collection, clean­ing of animal shed, processing of milk and sale of livestock products). However, their control over livestock and prod­ucts is minimal and these activities have been conventionally viewed as an extension of domestic work. With some re­gional variations, women account for 93% of employment in dairy production in India, yet 75% of dairy cooperative membership is male (World Bank, 1991; Sujaya, 2006). In­troducing taxes and limits to overgrazing and uncontrolled burning and deforestation (largely caused by the expansion of livestock sector) are likely to prove effective steps for in­creased productivity and sustainability of this sector.
     The Gender Assessment Report of China (IFAD, 2005b) indicated that women constitute about 70% of the agricul­tural labor force and perform more than 70% of farm labor in China. A general pattern is that the poorer the area, the higher women's contribution, largely as subsistence farmers, who farm small pieces of land, often less than 0.2 hectares. In India, close to 33% of cultivators and nearly 47% of agricultural workers are women (Vepa, 2005) (Table 5-1). This feminization of agriculture is caused by increased casu-alization of work, unprofitable crop production and distress migration of men "for higher casual work in agriculture and non-agriculture sectors", leaving women to take up low paid casual work in agriculture (Sujaya, 2006). Through­out the region women are more likely than men to work in agriculture. Manufacturing tends to employ a fairly large number of women followed by trade, hotel and restaurant businesses.
     The feminization of agriculture model in ESAP is de­termined by two major factors. First, compared to men, women have much poorer access to and control over pro­ductive resources and they have inadequate access to public services, such as training, extension and credit. Technolo­gies are often designed for irrigated land in favorable areas where male farmers predominate, with poor farmers, mainly women, lacking access to credit and appropriate technolo­gies. Second, rural society structure makes it difficult for all members of the household to migrate, since cities have even more limited resources for masses of asset-poor, who lack not only income but production-related assets, human capabilities, social capital and physical assets. Women con­stitute the majority of this group and when men leave to become temporary laborers in cities, they are left behind to take care of the land, children and elderly. Thus, they have the compounded burden of productive and reproduc­tive work. Although its impact on agricultural productivity is unclear, increasing feminization of agricultural labor is likely to have deep and wide ranging effects. It may rank as one of the leading foci for AKST policies centered on capac­ity development of (women) farmers, extension outreach, training in agricultural technologies and women's effective rights to land, trees, water bodies and other assets.

5.5.2     Gender wage differentials
Gender wage differentials in agriculture and related indus­tries are generally but not always due to differences in edu­cational attainments and work skills between women and men (Zhao and Zhang, 1999; Gustafsson and Li, 2000).