Recent reviews of the role of women in farming systems have pointed to the variability of women's contributions across the developing world (Ferguson and Horn 1985; Lele 1985; Rockefeller and ISNAR 1985). In the Southern African context, some writers have noted that rural women do not comprise a uniform and undifferentiated group and that economic differentation between households may be a more significant variable than gender of household head in accounting for variation in farming (Brown 1981; Fortmann 1984; Keller 1984; Safilios-Rothschild 1985). In the case of Zambia, development efforts relating to women have moved increasingly from discussions at a general level to implementation in specific situations (Keller 1984; Safilios-Rothschild 1984; ZARD 1985). Effective implementation requires that empirical relations at the field level are properly understood in advance; such understanding implies detailed and thorough socio-economic studies of women's roles (Keller 1984).