In many parts of Asia, women contribute at least half of the total labor input in rice production, performing backbreaking tasks such as transplanting and weeding. After harvest, it is usually the women who take care of seed storage and processing of rice (drying, milling) for home consumption.
In Africa, women do much of the work in rice production systems and play an important role in the rice value chain after harvest. Yet, these women face many constraints because of the prevalence of gender stereotypes and social restrictions that hamper their access to technical knowledge and technologies.
IRRI acknowledges that increased participation of women in agricultural research for development and extension will accelerate the realization of development goals, such as reducing poverty and increasing food security. IRRI is working with women to empower them and strengthen their role in the design, experimentation, and evaluation of agricultural research for development, as well as improved access to resources and control over output.