Taking Charge! Women lead the Agricultural Sector in India
While we continue battling the women reservation bill in the parliament, women’s greater participation in the agricultural sector has brought in a ray of hope. It is believed that women’s increased participation in the workforce will boost the country’s GDP and also, empower them to be independent, and take charge of their future.
In rural India while men are moving towards the cities to earn for their families, agriculture and farming automatically becomes a women’s responsibility in absence of other male members. This tradition has slowly helped the women in learning the farming techniques, getting involved in financial decisions and also, thinking about other ways to increase the production and profit. It is also helping in breaking the stereotypes that restricted women from the household chores. However the irony is while women have started working in the fields, they have to put in the effort of taking care of the families too.
This is something that the gender movement has been constantly debating but haven’t been able to find a solution.
A report released by Oxfam mentions that 400 million women from rural India work in the agricultural sector. Though a major proportion work as either agricultural laborer Or do not have land rights.
To boost and encourage this trend, the state must look at initiatives that can help women in increasing the income, profit and other benefits that they can reap of agriculture. This can also be seen as an opportunity to encourage women towards small scale businesses through farming.
The increased women workforce in agriculture is a great indicator towards closing the gender gap in the agricultural sector and a hope that the other industries and sectors will follow the path.
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