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Paper ID: 150

The Role of Women in Rural Development: Lesson Learnt from Nagari Indudur, West Sumatra, Indonesia

V I Mutiara, Yuerlita and R Febriamansyah

Lecturer at Socio Economic Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Universitas Andalas. Limau Manis, Padang, 25163, West Sumatra, Indonesia



Women play an important contribution to the agriculture and rural economy. Agriculture can be a main indicator for poverty reduction in rural areas. However, agriculture sector is underperforming in some developing countries because women, who are an important resources in agriculture and the rural economy, facing some obstacles that lower their productivity. The fact that both men and women play an important role in rural development, in this paper, we identify an empirical evidence from Nagari Indudur in West Sumatra, Indonesia, and show to what degree women’s contribution in rural development. Differences of women and men by gender are based on cultures, community values and norms, so that our gender construct may differ from one society to another. West Sumatra is known for its matrilineal culture. In the case of marriage, the inheritance of family property using maternal lineage. This study was done by a descriptive method using gender sensitive analyisis. There were 55 female respondents were interviewed. All of the respondents are member of “Selembar Daun”, the only women’s group in Nagari Indudur  that were play important role in its rural development. It was found that female time use is not only in reproductive activities, but also in productive activities, and social and political activities. In terms of reproductive activities, the women manage complex household activities. For productive activities, they involve in producing agricultural crops and forest products, such as candlenut, which then they process into candle nut oil. The added value of candle nut oil has made the product can be sold in higher price. This has led to additional income for the household. In terms of social and political activities, the women involve actively in women’s group activities, attend meeting facilitated by Wali Nagari, some women involve in Bundo Kanduang. It was also found that some households are involved in the cash economy, where the men work outside the Nagari for wages. As a result, women have to take more responsibility for agricultural tasks while their husband are away in wage labor, while at the same time women heavily involved in reproductive roles.

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