The Gender Wage Gap within the Agricultural Sector: A Case from South Lebanon

Ale J. Hejase, Israa Hamie, Hussin J. Hejase


Agriculture is considered an important energizer of a country’s economic growth and poverty alleviation efforts. However, this sector is underperforming especially in developing countries in part because women, who are often a crucial human resource in agriculture and the rural economy, face difficulties that reduce their productivity and their effective involvement. This paper sheds light on the gender pay gap in Lebanon, in general, and the agriculture sector of South Lebanon, in particular. Exploratory quantitative analysis is applied using a convenient sample of 385 agricultural employees chosen from the Lebanese agricultural institutions in South Lebanon. The paper objectives include the assessment of the wage gap in the agricultural sector in South Lebanon, analyzing opinions towards the wage gap in South Lebanon, quantifying the impact of the gender pay gap on women, identifying the causes that lead to the existence of a wage gap, and the exploration of the existence of wage gap discrimination. Findings showed that the wage gap in the agricultural sector is affected by experience, age, family responsibilities, and physical ability which is a vital factor affecting the wage difference, while the nationality and the educational level had no effect on wage gap. Also, the study showed that there is a 40% wage gap, where the numbers of male and female employees with their average hourly wages were considered which is a significant difference in pay. The outcomes are important for NGOs, policy makers and rural authorities to plan innovatively and capitalize on the untapped female workforce in the agricultural sector of the country.

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