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Agriculture Status and Women’s Role in Agriculture Production and Rural Transformation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Journal of Agriculture and Crops. 2019, 5(8): 132-150

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FOR CITATION: Salem, H.S. (2019). Agriculture status and women’s role in agriculture production and rural transformation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Journal of Agriculture and Crops, 5(8-August): 132–150. DOI: https://doi.org/10.32861/jac.5(8)132.150 and https://arpgweb.com/journal/journal/14 and https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334770801_Agriculture_Status_and_Women's_Role_in_Agriculture_Production_and_Rural_Transformation_in_the_Occupied_Palestinian_Territories_Journal_of_Agriculture_and_Crops_2019_58_132-150 ABSTRACT: This paper focuses on the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), comprised of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, with respect to the status of agriculture and the role of Palestinian women in the agriculture sector, water management, and agricultural sustainability in rural areas in the OPT. Recent estimates indicate that 15.4% and 7.8% of the total employed are employed in the agriculture sector in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, respectively. Despite the fact that the contribution of the agriculture sector to the GDP has decreased to 3% only, this sector is still hosting until recently 7.5%–10.5%, on average, of the employed in the OPT. Palestinian women only compose 18% of the labor force, and a little bit more than one fifth of them (22%, which is equivalent to around 4% of the women’s labor force) contribute to the agricultural sector in the OPT. However, most of women’s labor in the informal sector remains hidden and, thus, their contribution to the agriculture sector in the form of home-based activities is much higher than what is officially reported. Over 30% of informal agricultural work is performed by women as part of their domestic responsibilities. In addition, Palestinian women work at home as well as in the field, contributing effectively to the agriculture sector (plant and animal production) and, thus, to sustainable development in the OPT. With respect to water resources, women in rural areas play a considerable role in making water available for domestic and agricultural use, either by bringing water from far distances or getting water from springs and domestic harvesting wells (cisterns). Despite the fact that the status of agriculture in the OPT is really bad and getting even worse, and despite the presence of economic, financial, and political hardships and challenges, Palestinian women have obviously contributed to the agricultural sector towards achieving sustainable development in their communities in the OPT’s rural areas. KEYWORDS: Palestinian women; Agriculture and status of agriculture; Water resources management; Challenges; Resilience; Sustainable development; Rural areas; Occupied Palestinian territories (West Bank; including Jerusalem; And Gaza strip).
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