Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy. Women play a vital role in building this economy. Rural Women form the most important productive workforce in the economy of the majority of the developing nations including India. Rural women often manage complex households and pursue multiple livelihood strategies.
“Hamaari sunvaai Bhi ho, hamare behnon ki bhi (Let my voice along with my sisters be heard)”,
In rural India, the percentage of women who depend on agriculture for their livelihood is as high as 84%. Women make up about 33% of cultivators and about 47% percent of agricultural laborers. These statistics do not account for work in livestock, fisheries and various other ancillary forms of food production in the country. In 2009, 94% of the female agricultural labor force in crop cultivation were in cereal production, while 1.4% worked in vegetable production, and 3.72% were engaged in fruits, nuts, beverages, and spice crops.
Women's participation rate in the agricultural sectors is about 47% in tea plantations, 46.84% in cotton cultivation, 45.43% growing oil seeds and 39.13% in vegetable production. While these crops require labor-intensive work, the work is considered quite unskilled. Women also heavily participate in ancillary agricultural activities. According to the Food and agriculture organization Indian women represented a share of 21% and 24% of all fishers and fish farmers, respectively.
Despite their dominance of the labor force women in India still face an extreme disadvantage in terms of pay land rights and representation in local farmers organizations. Furthermore, their lack of empowerment often results in negative externalities such as lower educational attainment for their children and poor family health.
In all exercises, there is a normal sexual orientation wage uniqueness, with ladies acquiring just 70 percent of men's wage. Additionally, numerous ladies take an interest in horticultural work as unpaid subsistence work.
An expected 52-75% of Indian ladies occupied with farming are unskilled, an instruction obstruction that keeps ladies from taking an interest in more gifted work areas. According to a 2005 study of marital violence and property ownership, 49% of property fewer women experience physical violence and 84% experienced psychological abuse. According to Amartya Sen, and Martha Nussbaum's Capability Approach, equality in access is a critical step to economic empowerment to create gender equality. In conjunction, the early access to education and health services is critical to the capabilities and self-actualization of girls. Furthermore, without access to support from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, banks, and cooperative societies, women are excluded from information that would make their products more competitive in the agricultural markets. Without access to capital or household decision-making abilities, women lack the resources that are necessary for their labor stability and stability of their households. Access to credit is difficult since women lack many of the prerequisites for lending such as assets or ownership of property. Among women who owned both land and house, there was only 7% physical violence and 16% psychological abuse. Land ownership opportunities also have a critical impact on human development with freedom from violence.
Both ceremonies celebrate the role of women in agriculture and fertility and the importance of the environment and biodiversity. Furthermore, traditional agricultural methods heavily utilized by women subsistence farmers boast environmentally friendly features, such as seed preservation, natural fertilizers and crop rotation techniques that do not exhaust the delicate soil.
Just one season of such weather patterns can be devastating to the livelihood of farmers, who can find no resilience in small farms. The loss of biodiversity in India and specifically food crops is a serious concern of food security and sustainability of the agricultural sector in India. The widespread chemical pollution in communities that utilize pesticides and herbicides is creating a public health problem, which has disproportionately impacted women. In the state of Punjab, which was touted as a success of the Green Revolution, cancer rates have skyrocketed.
Their activities typically include producing agricultural crops, tending animals, processing and preparing food, working for wages in agricultural or other rural enterprises, collecting fuel and water, engaging in trade and marketing, caring for family members and maintaining their homes. Non-farm women only felt this impact to a medium extent; they were able to provide better educational facilities by buying books and stationery but there were far fewer chances to get their children educated outside the village. Farm women felt the impact on their children's education to a large extent, as they were able to provide them with better educational facilities as well as chances to get an education outside the village. While men went out hunting in search of food, women started gathering seeds from the native flora and began cultivating those of interest from the point of view of food, feed, fodder, fibre, and fuel. Variations in women's participation in agricultural work depend on supply and demand factors linked to economic growth and agricultural modernization
"We have been doing cultivating for a very long time. My relative did it, I am doing it, my little girl and little girl in-law will do it. In any case, what we require and will appreciate is our very own personality. A character of being a lady rancher." Bholi Devi, Harpur Village, Bihar.
As part of this initiative, the government plans to launch an awareness campaign looking at how Agricultural Science Centres (Krishi Vigyan Kendra) can play a significant role in empowering women farmers and shifting existing, biased perceptions of women's roles in agriculture. It is high time we made a concerted effort to create a conducive environment - not only for bringing women farmers into the mainstream but equally for empowering women farmers at a grassroots level by providing them with both an established identity and knowledge on the technical and financial aspects of agriculture. In today's digital world, it is also important to think critically about the information and communication tools which can help women farmers who may not enjoy much physical mobility to reach out to markets - which are generally considered to be a male-centric arena. This acknowledgment of women farmers for their extraordinary contributions will send out a positive message, particularly at a local level, regarding the importance of women to farming in India. Today, we cannot ignore the fact that if we want to achieve a second Green Revolution in India, it is imperative that we focus on our country's women farmers. This could be a game-changer in the effort to bring women farmers in India into the mainstream if practical assistance is offered to back this concept up. One recent development in this field has been the marking of 15 October as Women Farmers Day by the Government of India. In order to make India progressive it is essential to make rural India - where agriculture forms the backbone - progressive. They need direct access to information on improved agricultural practices and links to markets. We need to incorporate inclusion at every level if we are to progress towards sustainable change.
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