Women as the Unpaid Labourers in the Livestock Sector

Womenfolk is the prime contributor in the livestock sector. However, it is unfortunate that women are not paid for their hard work. To acknowledge and recognize the important and unpaid role of women in the livestock is crucial. Therefore, in this article, the important role of women in the livestock sector is discussed.

Women in livestock activities

Women, especially in rural areas play an important role in domesticated livestock management and production activities. These include fodder cutting, feeding, watering, cleaning, milking, bathing, milk and by-products preparation, and marketing of livestock products. Women are highly participating in the mentioned activities as compared to their male counterparts.

Image result for images of women performing livestock activities
Woman performing the milking activity

However, it is important to mention that women are more active in domesticated livestock as compared to men in the commercialized livestock farms.

The reason behind womens’ high participation in domesticated livestock is the less monetary aspects. While men are taking charge of the commercialized livestock farming due to the high monetary concerns. Thus, It shows that women are the unpaid laborers as compared to men in the livestock sector.

Women’s contribution to the household through livestock rearing

Women, in the livestock sector, provide multiple benefits to their households and support livelihoods. These are mainly the provision of food in the shape of milk and milk products (i.e. yoghurt, butter, butter oil, cheese) and cash. Cash income is mainly earned from the sale of surplus milk, and livestock products i.e. farmyard manure, milk products, dung cakes etc. Women, further spend the cash income on the household requirements such as food, clothes, health and education etc.

Additionally, women also provide energy resources for cooking at the household level in the shape of dung cakes. Women make dung cakes from the by-product of livestock. Similarly, farmyard manure is used in the farms to improve soil fertility and thus increase crop productivity.

Women rear both the large and small ruminants at the household level. The small ruminants such as goats and sheep provide financial security at the household level. While the large ruminants are mostly raised to meet the food requirements of the households.


The above discussion highlight the crucial role of women in the livestock sector. However, this is the bitter fact that all women’ work is unpaid. Therefore, at least the important contribution of women in the livestock sector must be recognized at the local, national, and international accounts.

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