Women as farmers

In Nepal, multiple subsistence farming seems a traditional culture adopted by most of the women in rural society. Since most of the men have been migrating to different foreign lands in search of  lucrative jobs, the whole responsibility of agriculture is handed over to women. Similarly, if we see the data of the world a greater number of women are involved in agriculture than men.

However, despite their extensive contribution, women are most often not recognized as farmers. They have not gained proper access to the inputs, resources, credit, and land, and are limited to unskilled or less skilled jobs. In the labor market, many of the women are not paid for their work and if paid receive a little portion compared to their male counterparts. Access to credit is difficult since many women are unaware of the government policies and subsidies. Without access to capital, they are unable to shape their ideas and take the decision of farm activity. Women seldom enjoy the property ownership right. Those who own the property do not have the power to take the  decisions. This sort of social discrimination prevails within the greenery of agriculture.

Despite the great anticipated revolution till date, there are still many loopholes in our community, where even humans are discriminated on the basis of sex.

FAO estimates that if women had the same access to productive resources as men, women could boost yield by 20-30%, raising the overall agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5-4%. This gain in production could lessen the number of hungry people in the world by 12-17%, besides increasing women’s income. The government of Nepal has also been concerned about the fact and has made a policy that allows girls and daughters-in-law to have equal right in parental property and also provided subsidy to women while registering land and buildings.

We rarely see women friendly types of equipment and tools. For agriculture development, it is pivotal to secure equal access to resources and techniques for both the pillars of society.

Gender sensitization activities, capacity building, leadership development, affirmative action through policies, support from male leaders, developing women-friendly tools, motivation and training on entrepreneurship, financial inclusion and access to technology, improved extension services are the urgent needs that should be addressed.