Home gardens managed primarily by women were among a series of resource areas that were efficiently utilized (Moreno, Somansang and Somansang, 1996). These women’s gardening practices created intensive interaction between the physical and social environment and they were increasing their management and manipulation of non-domesticated resources. They were the principal land-owners and were heavily involved in economic activity, especially in the marketing of fruits, vegetables and cooked foods (Mohan, 2004a). Many studies have shown that women play a predominant role in household food security by participating in agricultural and food production (Shoo, 2011a).
Women’s participation and responsibilities in home gardening vary across cultures, including land preparation, planting, weeding, harvesting, and marketing (Thamathawan, et al., 1996: Kaqchikel, K., 1999: Singh et al., 2007). In fact, in some cultures, women are the sole caretakers of household gardens (Surinov et al., 1998), while, in others, they play more or less a supportive role (Musters et al., 2011).
Based on a study conducted in Senegal by Brun and colleagues, evaluating the food and nutritional impact of home gardening, it was found that, although the gardens did not make a major contribution to food consumption and nutrition, they were instrumental in improving the women’s income and social status as well as their awareness of evolving food habits in urban areas (Brun, Reynaud and Agnes, 1989). For some women, sales of garden products are often the only sources of income or livelihood (Marsh, 1998). In fact, nearly half of the food consumed at home and one-third of the food sold in the market came from the garden lots. Other studies have shown that, in situations where women are leading home gardens, there has been an improvement to household nutrition, especially child nutrition (Ali, Ahmed and Islam, 2008).