29 September 2008

Liberian cassava farmers profiled on the BBC

I love this stuff . . . and there isn't a single man to be seen, except for a motorcycle taxi driver in slide 8.

In fact, in three months spent in Liberia, I never saw a man farming cassava. Rubber, yes and sometimes rice, but cassava farming is "women's work". Notice how the men in the picture below are 'supervising' (i.e., sitting around) while the women are busy.

Sometimes I imagine that the gender division of employment in agriculture will change as countries become more developed. But maybe not. I have been walking around rural Yorkshire in the last week, where there are a lot of sheep farms. Without exception, the farmers riding around the hills in Land Rovers and quad bikes are men. Maybe men only get involved when there are machines to play with?

1 comment:

Scarlett Lion said...

I'd like to think that you're right that more development might lead to women doing less of the work, or maybe just men doing more work. But the fact that my American boyfriend and I both work, yet I do almost all the cooking, means all signs point to no. (We used to just have a small counter top cooker. He said he we bought an oven, he would do more cooking and baking. We bought the oven in June. Times used by said boyfriend since June: two. So I don't even know that toys will help.) I think this is a pretty typical situation for many in the developed world - development may lead to some kind of equality, or more equality than there is in, say, Liberia, but I think some things are slow to change. Even slower than the pace of development.