women farmers

The Mahila Kisan Diwas (Women Farmers Day) was celebrated at all the border points where farmers are currently camping to demand the repeal of reform-oriented farm legislation.

Without any solution in sight, nine rounds of talks with the Central Government are already over. The matter is also before the Supreme Court, which has set up a committee to investigate the issue. On January 26, protesting farmers scheduled a tractor rally.

In the nation, the number of female agricultural workers grew from 49.5 million in 2001 to 61.6 million in 2011, a jump of about 24 percent. But while employed in the fields, they increasingly face abuse and sexual assaults.

Around 78 percent of women farmers in India face gender discrimination, according to a 17-country study conducted by Corteva Agriscience, in 2018.

According to a research by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in the Indian Himalayas, a pair of bulls works 1,064 hours, a man 1,212 hours, and a woman 3,485 hours in a year on a one-hectare farm. A research by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in nine states shows that women’s participation in the production of major crops is up to 75 per cent.

Also read: ‘You Are At Liberty To Invoke All Powers Under Law’: SC to Centre’s Plea to Stop Tractor Rally

For the same amount of labour put in the fields, women agri workers are paid almost half the wage as their male counterparts. For instance, in the samba crop season, a male agriculture labourer in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, gets paid a daily wage of Rs 500 to Rs 600 a day, but a woman farm labourer is paid just Rs 200 to Rs 400 a day. In states such as Bihar, it is much lower for women agri workers.

Despite participating in all agricultural activities, barely 13 per cent of women in the agriculture sector own land due to the patriarchal nature of our society. Because they do not have ownership, women are not recognised as farmers. In the absence of such distinct recognition, women cultivators remain ineligible for several schemes that state and central governments have announced for improving the status of the agriculture sector.


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December 2023


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