Special Issue "Agricultural Safety and Health"
A special issue of Safety (ISSN 2313-576X).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019)
Prof. Dr. Lorann Stallones
In developing countries, women comprise approximately 43% of the total agricultural workforce. In developed countries, despite the perception that there are few women working in agriculture, they comprise approximately 33% of the agricultural workforce. Based on this perception, less work has been done to characterize health hazards among women working in agriculture than among men working in agriculture. Women working in agriculture in developing countries have less access than men to financial resources, land, education, livestock, farm equipment, extension services, and farm labor. These circumstances result in lower productivity and an inability to transport crops to market. These factors intersect with the hazards associated with farming to increase the likelihood of injuries and diseases associated with farming. As informal and formal workers on farms, women are exposed to a multitude of biological, chemical, physical, and mechanical hazards. Genetic and other biological differences may contribute to differing susceptibility to agricultural chemicals between men and women. Susceptibility may be increased, or it may be reduced due to gender. Therefore, patterns of cancer among women exposed to agricultural chemicals may well differ from patterns observed among men. Emotional and psychological gender differences related to the isolation of rural farm life have not been assessed. Mental health in rural areas has been a neglected issue in medical care service access. The absence of services may have a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of farm women. Women who are migrant farm workers are exposed to the same hazards as men who are migrant workers. However, they are likely to experience greater ergonomic problems than their male counterparts. In addition, migrant women who work during their pregnancy are likely to experience problems due to bending and lifting. Exposure to pesticides in the fields has been a persistent problem for all migrant workers and should also be of concern for the children exposed in utero. Migrant women may also be at risk of sexual assault, as they may be far from their families and viewed by their bosses or co-workers as targets. Women who work on the farm are often excluded from the consideration of agricultural safety and health programs. Role definition as homemakers or employed workers in settings other than agriculture may influence women’s perception of risk, involvement in safety programs, and identification of diseases related to agricultural exposures.
Prof. Dr. Lorann Stallones
Prof. Dr. Susan Brumby
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- women in agriculture
- agricultural exposures
- cancer risk