Women Land Ownership

  • Growing contribution of Indian women in farming and issues related to it
Current Scenario
  • Presently, women constitute close to 65 per cent of all agricultural workers
  • Also, 74 per cent of the rural workforce, is female
Why are women not counted as Farmers?
  • Women are not officially counted as farmers because they are either labelled “agricultural labourers” or “cultivators”
  • Why: this is because the government does not recognise as farmers those who do not have a claim to land under their name in official records
  • As many as 87 per cent of women do not own their land, only 12.7 per cent of them do
Reason behind less rights to women in farming system
  • There are two primary reasons behind this:
  • First, land being a state subject is not governed by the constitution under a uniform law that applies equally to all citizens but rather is governed by personal religious laws. It tends to discriminate against women when it comes to land inheritance
  • Second, the cultural aspect hinder women’s ownership of land in patriarchal societies cannot be discounted
Why are women with land ownership good for Indian farming society?
  • According to many studies, women have a greater tendency to use their income for the needs of their households
  • Land-owning women’s offspring receive better nourishment
  • Land-owning mothers also tend to invest in their children’s education
Possible impact of giving land ownership to the women(at micro level)
  • The chance of propertied women being physically abused is reduced from 49 per cent to 7 per cent due to an increase in the wife’s bargaining power
  • If female farmers are provided security of land tenure, they will be officially recognised as farmers
The way forward
  • India has the intention to ensure food security for its citizens and boost women’s rights
  • These intentions constitute goals two and five of the Sustainable Development Goals that our country committed to in 2015
  • Giving more empowerment to women farmers is critical in realising these outcomes

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