Women and Pesticide Management in the Philippines: An Assessment of Roles and Knowledge

Open Access
Author:
Tanzo, Irene Roxas
Graduate Program:
Rural Sociology
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
February 14, 2005
Committee Members:
  • Carolyn Elizabeth Sachs, Committee Chair
  • Richard E Stedman, Committee Chair
  • Fern Kaley Willits, Committee Member
  • Edwin George Rajotte, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • farm women
  • pesticide management
  • roles
  • knowledge
  • IPM
Abstract:
This research studied the roles and knowledge level of women in pesticide management for rice and vegetables. This research emphasizes the contributions and needs of women in pesticide management and explains why women are invisible in pesticide management. Data for this research were collected in 2004 from three municipalities in Nueva Ecija, Philippines. Primary data were collected from 240 farm women using an interview schedule. Focus group discussions with farm women leaders were also conducted to improve the questionnaire and provide qualitative data. Frequency distributions, means, reliability analyses, correlation analyses, and multivariate analyses were used for data analysis. The results of the study show that farm women were performing fourteen pesticide management activities in rice and vegetable production. Women are performing field and non-field roles on rice and vegetable pesticide management. This demonstrates the many ways in which women are exposed to pesticides. Women’s higher level of activity in non-field roles reveals that they usually perform productive and reproductive roles simultaneously which effectively hides their involvement on pesticide management. Factors that influence farm women’s participation in field roles in rice pesticide management were marital status, having a male household member, and perceived level of control over pesticide usage. Factors that influence women’s participation in non-field roles in rice pesticide management were educational attainment, farm size and perceived level of control over pesticide usage. For field roles in vegetable pesticide management, having children, having a male household member, and perceived level of control over pesticide usage were influential factors affecting the extent of their involvement. For non-field roles in vegetable pesticide management, perceived level of control was the only influential factor affecting their involvement. Results also showed that farm women have a high level of knowledge of pesticide health impacts. This may be due to their role as health caretakers of the household and the presence of the IPM CRSP in the research areas. Multivariate analysis revealed that presence of a male household member and village characteristics impact women’s knowledge level of pesticide health impacts. The results of the study underscore the need for pesticide management extension services for farmwomen that address gender dimensions. It also emphasizes the need for pest control alternatives such as IPM.