Men and women are physically different. I am a firm believer that men and women are cognitive equals. However, when it comes to physical tasks, I also acknowledge that men and women are not the same. After reading The End of Average, I hesitate to make sweeping statements, so I’ll stick to personal experience; I am not as strong as my husband. There are a multitude of tasks he can do that I simply cannot. This week, that matters because it is part of being safe on the farm. Agrisafe.org has provided a reference sheet about gender differences and the unique work-related risk factors based on gender.
Here is what Agrisafe.org says about my example of strength:
On average, women have upper body strength 40-75% less than males and lower body strength 5-30% less than males. This means increased risk for problems with wrists, hands and lower back impacted by using tools not designed for women or lifting heavy objects. To prevent injuries it is important to avoid repetitive motions and modify working positions to avoid joint strain. Women also need to pay attention to bone density and be aware of their calcium intake.
Click here to see the full listing of possible gender specific, work-related risk factors, and prevention strategies, with regard to size, reproductive factors and stress factors.
Women can do anything we set our mind to – but we may not do it in the same way as men. To all the Farm Femmes, farm extenders and farm girls, be safe!