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Women in Indian Agriculture

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About the Book

This book deals with holistic approach regarding gender roles and specific needs of women in rice farming. The data provide information on intergender perception, participation and contribution to rice production which will help not only to understand the importance of their work but also to support more effective production planning. The gender analysis would also help in identifying and analyzing inequalities that arise from different roles of men and women, the unequal power relation between them and the other contextual factors related to socio-cultural beliefs and attitudes. It also gives an insight account of health problems, viz., physiological, psychological, ergonomic, reproductive and other problems during cultivation of rice crop. As far as gender wise incidence of illnesses, females from both laborers and cultivators families suffered more from asthma, bronchitis, joint pain, backache, skin problems and reproductive problems. Whereas males suffered more from accidents/injuries and snake biting. Mechanization in paddy was found to have an impact in terms of saving time used in various operations; however, it had adverse impact on labour replacement. Male labour replacement was found up to the extent of 50-80 per cent, while female labour replacement was 22-37 per cent. Qualitative research on gender based roles and relations in rice production systems would provide access to improved gender disaggregated statistical indicators essential to decision markers. Gender responsive policies and planning process which take into account the complexity of women’s labour and the importance of their productive activities could overcome some of the constraints in rice cultivation. The data presented in this book is based on doctoral thesis of author.This book will be found highly useful by all concerned, specially researchers, extension workers, planners and policy makers in areas of drudgery reduction in agriculture, technological intervention for female dominated activities, technical training to their specific tasks. This will also open new vistas of research on intergender aspects of farm women vis-à-vis their role in mainstream.


Kanta Sabharwal (b. 1968) is working as District Extension Specialist (Home Science) at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Jind, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar. She has been working on Action training to rural women and adolescent girls for improved home practices and income generating activities for the last 23 years. She had also conducted research on various aspects of Intergender Participation and Health Problems in Paddy Cultivation and Extent of Participation and Communication used by Rural Women and Girls in National Literacy Mission. She has also published about 30 research papers in various journals of National and International repute. In addition many popular articles, booklets, radio and TV talks go to her credit. She is also Life Member of Rajasthan Society of Extension Education, Udaipur, Society of Krishi Vigyan, Ludhiana and Orissa Society of Extension Education, Bhubaneswar. She is always there to train rural women and girls, the real backbone of our society, on the topic of their economic upliftment and empowerment.

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