Based on a collaborative research project - an exciting fruit of the region's peace process - this book provides an in-depth examination and comparison of women's participation in agricultural production in four Middle-Eastern countries: Egypt, Jordan, Palestine and Israel. Each of the country studies is set in context, providing an overview of the status of women in the national economy and society, and in education and law, before proceeding to analyze the status and roles of women in the rural sector. These up-to-date overviews are based on published and unpublished data, much of which is available for the first time in English. But the book can also be read as a fascinating story of the way gender is introduced into a complex political setting where "development work" is done. It offers a reflexive, critical examination of the very process of its own production and some general observations about the links between academic and development-centred discourses.