Improving women farmers' access to extension services
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This chapter of the FAO's "Improving Agricultural Extension: A Reference Manual" (FAO, 1997) provides a description of the reasons gender analysis is critical to the foundations of the agricultural sector's policies, programs, and projects. It argues that women farmers are at a severe disadvantage due to socially constructed views of male-headed households and the additional tasks that women attend to with the home and child rearing that add constraints to the women's ability to attend or invest in programs that may make their farming more lucrative. Additionally, the paper argues there is a male bias in farmer training and encourages the staffing of more women field agents and the use of methods to complement traditional forms of participatory rural appraisal (PRA). Finally, the authors discuss the challenges of moving these programs from a small to large scale. The authors supplement their arguments with examples of programs that have seen impact in their areas and can be used as positive models for change.