Agricultural development has contributed not only to increased global food supplies, but to environmental degradation and the marginalization of women. This may be traced back to how agricultural science is practiced, its philosophical and economic underpinnings, and how and to whom we as agricultural extension professionals chose to disseminate agricultural knowledge and innovations. This paper primarily addresses why women must be included in agricultural development initiatives in "developing" countries. In this philosophical and issue-based paper, I explore the following questions: How has economic development impacted women? What is sustainable development and how can something that has historically and by its very nature been destructive to the environment, simultaneously sustain it? How can international extension initiatives enhance and ensure agricultural and environmental sustainability? I conclude with a call for an agricultural extension system that is gender sensitive and responsive to women farmer's primary role as global food producers.
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