Essay: The women are the foundation of agricultural workforce and are a crucial part of Indian economy.

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The women are the foundation of agricultural workforce and are a crucial part of Indian economy. Throughout the years, there is a slow acknowledgment of the key part of women in agricultural development and their commitment in the field of farming, food security, cultivation, dairy, nourishment, sericulture, fisheries, and other allied divisions. Off late, career for women is continuously challenged by the expanding demands at the work place. When the day is completed at work, they will have duties and responsibilities to be handled at home. Larger part of the working women is extending themselves to discharge their roles at agriculture field and at home and in the process, encounter work-life imbalance which will have undesirable results for individuals in the form of increased levels of stress dissensions, depression, lower mental health, higher family conflicts, less life fulfilment and so on. Kodagu is one such districts which is rich in agriculture background than compared to the other districts in Karnataka. This study focuses mainly on studying the balancing of life of women workers specifically in Kodagu who work for weekly wages.
 
Work life balance of women workers have become an important subject since the time in today’s world where both men and women equally share the responsibility of earning for the betterment of their family life. Hence it is very essential to know how the women balance their professional and personal life.

Literature review involves the analysis of various articles and research paper which were done on the similar line of study to get a better view on work life balance of women working in different organization and also to analyse the research gap from the study. The articles and various research papers referred talks about the nature of work life balance of women employees and factors affecting in achieving work life balance.

Research methodology gives a brief summary about the overall research carried out. It defines the problems and states the needs and importance of the work life balance of women employees. A brief description of research methodology talks about the type of data collected, its sources and various statistical tools used to analyze the data. The research conducted here is a descriptive research where it includes the surveys and facts, findings enquiries from the respondents. It is concerned with describing on the factors affecting work life balance and the challenges that the women workers face with special reference to the women workers in Kodagu District in Karnataka.

Analysis and interpretation is done based on the percentage analysis of different variables considered regarding the objectives of the study. The main challenges faced by the women workers between family life and work life found in the study are unequal pay, safe and healthy work conditions, insufficient maternity leave, lack of family support, less status in the society, not able to perform daily activities, ignorance of own health, poor parenthood responsibilities, less fulfilment of expectations from life.

The international development community has recognized that agriculture is an engine of growth and poverty reduction in countries where it is the main occupation of the poor. But the agricultural sector in many developing countries is underperforming, in part because women, who represent a crucial resource in agriculture and the rural economy through their roles as farmers, laborers and entrepreneurs, almost everywhere face more severe constraints than men in access to productive resources. Efforts by national governments and the international community to achieve their goals for agricultural development, economic growth and food security will be strengthened and accelerated if they build on the contributions that women make and take steps to alleviate these constraints.

According to psychotherapists and trainer-consultants in personal growth, human beings do not have just one drive, but many drives and needs. In order for them to have a sense of wellbeing, these needs are to be met adequately. Work is important and it gives a lot of meaning in life, but one must always remember that life is bigger than work. When our lives are only about work, other needs will not be met and which results in frustration. As human beings get older, they have a sense of some control and mastery over their environment, as they maintain some boundaries and a structure – that they have set apart time for various things in their lives. But once a person allows the need for work to be met at the expense of other needs, the sense of wellbeing and confidence goes away. When work-life balance is not maintained, a person begins to experience sense of emptiness and hollowness which is difficult to deal with. In addition, relationships take a beating and the person begins to experience loneliness, depression, despair and cynicism.

Women make fundamental commitments to the farming and country economies in all developing nations. Their roles differ extensively between and within regions and are changing rapidly in many parts of the world, where monetary and social powers are transforming the horticulture segment. Rustic women regularly oversee complex families and seek after various employment techniques. Their exercises ordinarily incorporate producing rural harvests, tending animals, processing and preparing food, working for remuneration in horticultural or other provincial endeavors, gathering fuel and water, taking an interest in exchange and promoting, caring for family members and maintain their homes. Many of these activities are not defined as “economically active employment” in national records yet they are essential to the prosperity of rural households.

Work life balance is an appropriate prioritization between professional life and personal life. It is an effective management of juggling act between paid work and other activities that are important to people. The work-life balance dichotomy was invented in the mid of 1801. Paul Krassner stated that anthropologists use a definition of happiness that is to have as little separation as possible between work and play. The ideology ‘work-life balance’ was first used in the United Kingdom in the late 1970’s to identify and describe the balance between an individual’s work and personal life. But the phrase was first used in the United States.

In case of working woman, it is a state of equilibrium in which the demands of both her job and personal life are equal. In today’s speedy paced life, a desire to work harder than ever before in order to congregate the arising requirements of organizations and society. Never the less in response to such organizational and societal needs person often neglects the other significant factor that is the personal life. These days with increased level of competition and globalization, the demand for work has exaggerated and its reflection is visible in the attitude of the individuals also. Every individual has a life at work and at home and also a life in which he has a breathing space for leisure. Our profession nowadays has become a vital part of our lives. The escalating responsibilities on the personal frontage with the everyday changing technology which keeps work life integrated with personal life also creates stress in personal and professional life.

Work life balance is the balance between an individual’s personal life and professional life. A healthy work life balance assumes great significance for working women particularly in the current context in which both, the family and the workplace have posed several challenges and problems for women. The dynamics of the work environment have exerted enormous pressure on working women as they need to cope with virtually two fulltime jobs- one at work place and the other at home. Work life balance is the competence to schedule the hours of an individual professional and personal life so as to lead a healthy and peaceful life. It emphasizes the values, attitudes and beliefs of women regarding their age to work in organizing and balancing their work and personal life.

Work life balance is not fleeting trend. It is not even a new concept. As far back as the mid nineteenth century, the US Government comprehended that there is a need to counter work with relaxation time. Truth be told, as ahead of schedule as the 1800s, the government issued measures that diminished the working hours of some administration representatives to 10 every day. In the late 1800s and mid 1900s, a few states really started building up work constraints for women. What’s more, in 1920, 43 states passed enactment building up a farthest point to day by day work hours; still, just 11 of them set the greatest at 8 hours for each day. Amid the Great Depression of the 1930s, there was a further diminishment in work hours, for the most part since bosses needed to stay away from cutbacks and circulated hours among laborers. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 at last presented
the 40-hour work week.

Amid the 70s, women workers began to express their requirement for help with adjusting individual and work obligations. Finally, in the 80s, a number of corporations began to implement life enhancing policies such as maternity leave, flexible scheduling, telecommuting and employee assistance. And although these family programs started out as women oriented, they eventually shifted to accommodate both men and women’s needs. This is also when the official term ‘work-life balance’ was coined- to describe the need to protect family life in a career driven culture. In the 90s there was a work-life balance boom, with both companies and employees making strategic choices based on the content of these programs. Ever since then, researchers have been trying to develop new balance strategies that will improve both productivity and quality of life.

It has become an important subject since the time has changed from men earning the family living in today’s world where both men and women equally share the responsibility of earning for the betterment of their family life. Hence, it is for the betterment of their family life, it is very necessary to know how the women balance professional and domestic life. In the initial stages, women had to struggle a lot to establish their identity in this competitive world, both in the society as well as in the professional life. But with advancement of educational and training institutions, things have improved to a greater extent.

The imbalance in the work life of a women employee has become a major deal of concern because of outsized number of issues related to women employee wellbeing, boredom at work place moribund level of productivity and competence at the employee level had started budding. Such imbalance has a negative effect on the personal life of working women in software industry. There is a huge prospect for professionals in software industry as well as service sectors. As a result, women’s venture and job has also changed over the years. Today women are performing a dual role of a salary earner and of a homemaker. Work life balance has now become a vulnerable topic because it offers apparent benefits to organizations and its success Thus work-life balance is one of the key concerns for the software industries and management practitioners. When women choose to pursue executive careers and start families, they run the risk of having neither. There are number of obstacles to career advancement documented earlier, many factors that suppress ambitious women’s ability to marry and have children have been highlighted in the study, some of those include the demands of ambitious careers which leave little time to nurture intimate relationships, the fact that most successful men are not interested in acquiring an ambitious peer as a partner and the difficulties of bearing children later in life despite media sensations.

Historical data from employment survey in India indicates that the employment rate of women has remarkably increased by 3.6 percent per year from the year 1991 to 2001. Women in India have broken barriers and built bridges in the professional flat forms. Work life balance focuses on two main aspects called ‘Achievement’ and ‘Enjoyment’. This means that the women should be able to have job satisfaction and at the same time be able to grow up in her career. When working women is able to achieve and enjoy her work and family life, it means that she has a positive work life balance. After the Industrial Revolution in the second half of the 18th century, there was a tremendous change in the pattern and concept of professionalism. This has given a new dimension to work-life balance. But there is no perfect shape to work-life balance. It varies from individual to individual because priorities differ according to individual life styles. Only when an employer has a positive work life balance, can she be productive and give her best to her work.

Work-life balance does not mean equal balance. It means the capacity to schedule the hours of professional and personal life so as to lead a healthy and peaceful life. It is not a new concept. It emphasizes the values, attitudes and beliefs of women regarding their age to work in organizing and balancing their work and personal life. When a woman achieves a successful work life balance, she has job satisfaction and becomes highly committed and productive and succeeds in her career.

The majority of women are working 40-45 hours/week out of which almost 53% of them to struggle to achieve work life balance. The reason behind this struggle is that they are being challenged by the demands of their organization versus the commitments of their home. They need to manage the daily requirements of their family as one side and the multiple schedules, meetings, business requirements and other routine responsibilities at work. Women at work have to be cared by their employers. Employers work out scheme that would not only attract and retain the employees for a longer period but also make them highly productive. Organizations have many such facilitates like transport, canteen, day care centers, postal savings schemes, flexible working hours, part-time working, provide the information about work life balance policies and special leave arrangement such as annual leave and public holiday leave, career break leave, leave for elective representative, leave to attend heath care centers, rewards and recognition, career growth, insurance plans, job rotation, incentives, performance related pays, rest rooms and other government schemes like maternity, marriage, sick leave benefit and medical benefits.

In the initial stages, women had to struggle a lot to establish their identity in this competitive world, both in the society as well as in the work life. In this research paper, an attempt has been made to find the personal and work challenges and enhancers for work life balance amongst working women through a survey of 100 women workers in agriculture sector in Kodagu district. The main factors leading to work-life imbalance of the women workers were found to be extended or long working hours, compulsory over time, work on holidays, excessive household work and negative attitude of the family, etc. The study also concentrates on the consequences that the women workers face between their personal and work life. Some of the consequences are the stressful issues they face like the work-related issues, family issues, health problems, financial problems and low social support. Some of the stress related diseases women workers had were hypertension, depression, frequent headaches, anxiety and forgetfulness. The other consequential factors that the women workers undergo according to the study are they have a hard time balancing the demands of work and family life, they are not able to keep track of child/ children’s progress, family matters distract and effects their work performance, relationship with their partner is suffered due to work pressure or long hours of work and finding time for hobbies, leisure activities or to maintain friendships and extended family relationships are difficult

1. Self-Management

Sufficiently managing one’s self can be challenging, particularly in getting proper sleep, exercise and nutrition. Self-management is the recognition that effectively using the spaces in our lives in vital, and that available resources, time and life are finite. It means becoming a captain of our own ship; no one is coming to steer for us.

2. Time Management

Effective time management involves making optimal use of your day and the supporting resources that can be summoned – you keep pace when your resources match your challenges. Time management is enhanced through appropriate goals and discerning what is both important and urgent, versus important or urgent. It entails kno
wing what you do best and when, and assembling the appropriate tools to accomplish specific tasks.

3. Stress Management

By nature, societies tend to become more complex over time. In the face of increasing complexity, stress on the individual is inevitable. More people, distractions and noise require each of us to become adept at maintain tranquility and working ourselves out of pressure filled situations. Most forms of multi-tasking ultimately our stress, versus forcing on one thing at a time.

4. Change Management

In our fast-paced world, change is virtually the only constant. Continually adopting new methods and re-adapting others is vital to a successful career and a happy home life. Effective change management involves making periodic and concerted efforts to ensure that the volume and rate of change at work and at home does not overwhelm or defeat you.

5. Technology Management

Effectively managing technology means ensuring that technology serves you, rather than abuses you. Technology has always been with us, since the first walking stick, flint, spear, and wheel. Now, the rate of change is accelerating, brought on by vendors seeking expanding market share. Often there is no choice but to keep up with the technology, but you must rule technology, not vice versa.

6. Leisure Management

The most overlooked of the work life balance supporting disciplines, leisure management acknowledges the importance of rest and relaxation- that one can’t short-change leisure, and that ‘time off’ is a vital component of the human experience. Curiously, too much of the same leisure activity, however enjoyable, can lead to monotony. Thus, effective leisure management requires varying one’s activitiesTo achieve a positive work life balance, women should be pro-active and plan her professional and personal schedules well in advance so that both are equally balanced and the end result is satisfaction. Over the years, technology has made workers more available than ever, thus making it increasingly difficult to establish a positive work-life balance. While this concept of work-life balance is often overlooked when first entering the workforce, many seasoned individuals wish they had made more time for the important things in life.

Establishing a positive work-life balance is absolutely essential for every individual, not just those married with children. Regardless of your social status, it is important to set limits on your work accessibility. Without these limits, it is easy to let work overflow into your personal life; a few extra hours at the office, checking emails on your phone, answering phone calls outside of work hours, and a variety of other tasks can build up and make your work life your only life. Despite a large body of positive psychological research into the relationship between happiness and productivity happiness at work has traditionally been seen as a potential by-product of positive outcomes at work, rather than a pathway to business success. Maintaining a level of happiness at work has become more significant and relevant due to the intensification of work caused by economic uncertainty and increase in competition.

The agribusiness is a motor of development and poverty reduction in countries where it is the primary control of poor people. But the agricultural sector in many developing countries is failing to meet expectations to some degree since women, who constitutes the family, which is the building block of society and nation represent a crucial resource in agriculture and the provincial economy through their roles as agriculturists, workers and business visionaries, wherever confront more extreme requirements than men in access to gainful assets. Endeavors by national governments and the global group to accomplish their objectives for horticultural advancement, financial development and sustenance security will be reinforced and quickened on the off chance that they expand on the commitments that ladies make and find a way to lighten these imperatives.

India is the largest democratic country in the world and she has second largest population with highest demographic dividend (i.e. working age population) in the world. In India agriculture sector contributes only 18% of income in total GDP while its employment share is highest at 49% in the year 2011-12. Manufacturing and service sectors were contributed 24% and 27% employment respectively in the same period. As per 2011 census, India has total 440.4 million people available for work, 415.7 million are in the workforce and 24.7 million people are unemployed. Out of total workforce, male workforce is 78% and rest 22% is female workforce. Moreover, 52.2% are employed in self-employment, 17.9% in regular wage/salary and 29.9% in casual labor at all India level in 2011-12. India has already started realizing its demographic dividend and female population which accounts for nearly 50 per cent of the population and it is an asset to be utilized carefully, we must reap this window of opportunity. Declining fertility rate and child dependency ratio are factors which can facilitate female workers to come out. In short, a bubbling rural economy is the need of the hour to create jobs and absorb the bulging economically active female population.

Karnataka is the oldest and largest coffee producing region in India accounting for 55% of the total area under coffee and 69% of the total national production (Coffee Board, 2014). Kodagu alone produces 53% of the coffee in Karnataka or 37% of India’s coffee and accounts for 26% of the total land under coffee. Most of the coffee is grown on holdings smaller than 10 hectares and only 1.14% of holdings are larger. Varieties of Indian coffee have an unexploited niche in international markets. India is the only country where almost all coffee is shade grown handpicked and sun dried

contributing to 0.06% of India’s GDP in 2011.

Kodagu is an administrative district in Karnataka. Agriculture is the most important factor that upholds the economy of Kodagu. Kodagu is rich in natural resources like timber and spices and coffee, honey, paddy, pepper, tea is richly cultivated. Kodagu is a rural region with most of the economy based on agriculture, plantations and social forestry, as well as one of the more prosperous parts of Karnataka. Much of Kodagu is used for agriculture. Coffee revenue helped Kodagu to become one of the richest districts in India.

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