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This paper examines how we measure work and labour in agriculture in rural sub-Saharan Africa. It has increasingly been recognised that many rural African women have heavy workloads; in some accounts, this is contrasted with apparently light work burdens for men. I argue that in making women’s work visible, where once it was not, it is possible to slip into thinking of African rural men as not doing very much at all. There is a danger in some policy discussions of producing an image of rural men as standing idly by, while their wives and daughters are overburdened with work.

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