Identification of factors hampering women empowerment in agriculture decision making and extension work in District Okara, Punjab, Pakistan
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In this article the authors endeavor to highlight the constraints facing rural women in the Okara District of Punjab, Pakistan in making decisions pertaining to agriculture and to suggest how to empower rural women to enhance sustainable agriculture development. The study area was selected because women in South Asia participate significantly more in agriculture production than men do, yet because of environmental constraints, a lack of agriculture advice and services and social norms of segregation, women still have little input in the decision making process. Data was compiled using a multistage sampling technique. The first section involved the random selection of three tehsils. In the second section, 8 villages were chosen from each tehsil. In the third section twenty farms were randomly chosen. Using this multistage sampling technique, the researchers were able to randomly select 480 women from the rural Okara District. The research showed a large percentage of women in the rural Okara District were illiterate, destitute, earning less than 1 Lac annually from farming and other domestic activities and live on small farms. A majority of women claimed they experienced difficulty acquiring agricultural extension services due to complex cultural, social, political and economic issues. Female empowerment can be ameliorated by adequately addressing the constraints facing women in agricultural production.