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20 May 2019, Edition - 1406, Monday

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Coimbatore

Women farm workers not recognised in India

Covai Post Network

Coimbatore : “Women farmers are not recognized by themselves or by others in India, China and Indonesia. They are not recognized as farmers in their own right but are only recognized as farmers’ wives ‘helping’ in farming, an associate professor in Canada-based University of Guelph said today.

In Canada, many young women express their self-identity as farmers” Dr.Sharada Srinivasan, International Development and Canada Research Chair in Gender, Justice and Development of the University said, while delivering the endowment lecture organized by the Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development Studies Tamil Nadu Agricultural University here..l

During her lecture, Sharada attempted to address some pertinent questions on the issues like -What proportion of farmers is young and female? Do they participate in designing policy and technology that can make them better farmers? Do we know how many young female farmers own land or other productive resources?

Worldwide young people are apparently disinterested in farming and leaving the countryside in search of better future, she said

Stating that close to 34 per cent of India’s rural population belongs to the age group 15–34 years, she said that an estimated 56.6 per cent of rural youth in the age group 15–29 years continued to rely on agriculture, forestry, or fishing as a source of livelihood.

They are under-represented in local institutions and governance mechanisms, and tend to have less decision-making power, she said.

In Tamil Nadu only 22 per cent of female farmers are working full time in farms, as some legal and patriarchal norms prevent females as farmers, Sharada said.

“These include patrilineal inheritance, preference for sons to inherit even when they are not interested, sons are seen as more attached to family land than daughters and daughters ‘willingly’ give up their share in patriarchal bargain.

Women’s work is never finished in farm, household, reproductive and care responsibilities,” she said.

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