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Daughters Of Indian Farmlands

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by sureshmiyer, Jan 27, 2021.

  1. sureshmiyer

    sureshmiyer Silver IL'ite

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    Daughters of Indian Farmlands.

    Land to the tiller was a slogan central to the last century’s peasant struggles.

    The classic image of paddy sowing is rows of women, ankle deep in mud, bent over, working all day, giving birth to our food. Women walking miles with pots of water on head, women threshing and winnowing is the subject of art and folk music. But when we think of kisan, it’s a man. Woman does not figure in the definition of kisan. After we extract the fruits of her labour, we make her invisible. Right to property is the most pressing issue for women farmers. They simply are not included in the definition of a farmer.

    A more comprehensive and inclusive definition came in 2007 with the Centre’s National Policy for Farmers. This document defined a farmer as a person actively engaged in the economic and/ or livelihood activity of growing crops and producing another primary agricultural commodity and will include all agricultural operational holders, cultivators, agricultural labourers, sharecroppers, tenants, poultry and livestock rearers, fishes, beekeepers, gardeners, pastoralists, non-corporate planters and planting labourers as well as persons engaged in various farming related occupations such as sericulture, vermiculture and agro-forestry.

    Farmer suicides put a lot of stress on women, they are forced to work without any kind of claim to the resources. The Periodic Labour Force Survey 2017-18 (PLFS) says 73.2 percent of rural women workers are engaged in agriculture in India, but women own only 12.8 percent of landholdings. The government should make it mandatory that land titles be written jointly to include women. In a normal scenario, where everyone sticks to prescribed gender roles, anywhere between 33 percent and 50 percent of all of India’s farm work is done by women. In cultivation, women do much of the non-mechanised back breaking work especially in rice farming such as transplanting, weeding and harvesting. Add to that household work, including cooking and tending to the elderly and children. That generally means women work upto 10-12 hours a day while men work around 8-9 hours a day.

    The problem comes only when paying for that labour – women’s farm labour earns them lesser wages than men. The land ownership laws for women remain on paper. Availing compensation due to a widow is a cumbersome process as they need to produce a slew of documents. Since women are not recognized as farmers, even women farmer suicides are reported as matters of domestic violence. Afterall she always would be a homemaker, not a farmer.

    By Suresh Iyer
    (Source - Outlook magazine)
    Balajee likes this.

  2. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    It is a fact that women do not have property rights in the villages. They toil all year long in the fields but the men take the credit.
  3. nakshatra1

    nakshatra1 Platinum IL'ite

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    Very well written .
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021

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