Considering the structure of the agricultural system where family holdings are dominant and the major portion of the labor force a:re unpaid women and children, official and comprehensive data on rural women’s participation is non-existence. Aiming to study women’s role, the present article examines their share in the strategic agricultural production of Iran. Based on the latest agricultural census (2000-2001), about 82% of cultivated lands are allocated to 77% of farm products. Rural women’s share is estimated to be in rice production 65%, cotton 60%, vegetable 80% and animal husbandry 49.8%.
Meanwhile their managerial role in farming and husbandry is minimal and key decisions are made by men. Prevalence of patriarchal culture and gender inequality seemed to have caused rural women lacking independence of identity, status and social security.