This article explores female employment in rural Afghanistan, based on the 2003 and 2005 Nationwide Risk and Vulnerability Assessments (NRVA) covering thousands of households. Rural female employment involves about a quarter of rural women and a quarter of rural households. Female employment rates are much lower across the conservative southern belt. A majority of rural working women are in wage jobs, paid much less than men. Few employed women have control over their earnings. Better-educated rural women have higher participation and lower unemployment, especially in medium and better-off households. Female unemployment rates are double men's rates. The article highlights priorities for research and policy implications.