Integrating Gender into Extension Services

By Kathleen E. Colverson, University of Florida


The analysis and incorporation of gender issues is rarely included in extension work. Yet, women are the primary agricultural labor force throughout the world and perform agricultural tasks with fewer resources, less access to technology and the added responsibility of child and family oversight. The vast majority of extension agents are male, and are not trained in how to work with women farmers.

Few recognize the contributions that women make to agriculture, nor are they aware of how best to serve this population’s needs. As extension remains a significant resource of information for limited resource farmers, (the majority of whom are women), the inclusion of methodologies and approaches that address gender is critical for extension’s success.


See also the International Livestock Research Institute’s training manual, “Closing the Gender Map” from April 2013.