Being a woman affiliated with agriculture can be challenging. There seems to be a sort of unspoken knowledge that it is the male gender that dominates agriculture, and that women are therefore incapable of the same dominance. I have never particularly understood this degrading concept, and I find it bothersome that there fails to be a mutual acceptance of both men and women within the context of farming.
I have been involved with agriculture throughout the entirety of my life as a result of my grandfather, father and uncle being farmers. I have a passion for agriculture, and the ideology of farming has always appealed to me. Myself, my sister, and my female cousins have always been accepted and encouraged by our family to embrace our agricultural background and to immerse ourselves in farming if we wish to do so, however not all individuals share this belief.
It is arguable that society has gendered the industry of farming, just as it has numerous other occupations such as policing, firefighting, working in construction and most trades. I am unsure how or why this gendered recognition came to be, but I believe it is crucial to challenge such recognitions in order to gain progress and defeat gender stereotypes. Consider African countries where women dominate the agricultural industry, and furthermore the history of indigenous women and their significant role in generating food for their communities. Women have been a tremendous component of agricultural efficiency for decades, so why has the perspective on their involvement suddenly shifted?
I enjoy farm work and being associated with the agricultural industry, and I refuse to deplete my passion for it simply because society makes reference that I should do so. I look forward to a future in which gendered occupations are no longer in existence and both men and women can work in the same positions in balanced harmony.