Who’s The Boss? India’s Women Farmers Take Charge Battling Traditional Gender Rolesby The Daily Eye Team February 15 2017, 2:03 pm Estimated Reading Time: 0 mins, 48 secs
For Hira Kanjarya, a 17 hour day is the norm as she gets up before dawn to cook for her five children, do the washing, milk her two buffalos, and also run the family’s cotton farm. Kanjarya, 36, is one of a growing number of women being trained to take charge of some of the millions of small holder farms across India where about 70% of agricultural work is done by women but with little recognition of their input. Gender roles in tradition-bound rural India are slowly changing with women having to take control as large numbers of working-age men migrate to cities for jobs and amid a wave of suicides by male farmers battling to provide for their families. Acknowledging the growing role women play in India’s key agricultural sector, state governments, farming groups, and private industry are starting to train women to lead farms, teaching them about crops, irrigation, and finance.