Married Women's Labor Time on The Family Farm
Suhao Tu(Assistant Research Fellow, Office of survey Research, Academia Sinica)
Previous literature has shown that women’s contributions to agricultural production are underestimated by the conventional theory of labor and labor statistics. The underestimation is derived from the traditional conceptualization of market/waged labor and the process of housewifization based in patriarchal gender ideology.
Recognizing the limitation of the economics theory of gender division of labor and women’s perceptions of work roles in farm production as the result of the underestimation of their labor input, this paper first examines married women’s labor time on the family farm from the feminist/broad conceptualization of women’s labor. The examination emphasizes the interaction between farm labor and household labor over seasons. Second, this paper also examines women’s perceptions of their roles in agricultural production and the relationship of their perceptions with their work performance.
The results show that women averagely spend over 8 hours on farm work. This finding is deviated from general labor statistics. Women’s time allocated to housework does not decrease a lot as their time on farm work decreases from busy season to slack season. Most of the women in this study work very hard but identify themselves as farm helpers and feel their farm workload not heavy at all.
As women in this study tend to devaluate their status and their contributions to agricultural production and accept over load of farm work, the author suggests that we need to pay attention to farm women’s, especially those women in commercialized and commoditized agriculture, daily life combined with domestic and farm work.
Farm labor gender division of farm labor/household labor, Time budget