Khushboo Yadav and B. Spandana
Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University, Hyderabad
Gender equality refers to the principle of treating people fairly and impartially regardless of their gender. It ensures that all individuals should have equal opportunities, rights, and access to resources, advantages, and privileges in all parts of life, including the social, economic, political, and cultural realms. Gender equity in agriculture continues to be a major issue, with women farmers experiencing unique hurdles and inequities in accessing information and resources. Women make up over 43% of the agricultural labour force worldwide, which makes a significant contribution to food production. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that although women produce a large portion of the world's food crops, they fall far behind men in terms of land ownership as well as access to land-based income. This lack of access also extends to the inability to obtain information, as well as illiteracy, cultural and social restrictions, which are some more reasons for the lack of access to crucial agricultural knowledge, and markets. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) such as mobile phones and internet platforms, have the potential to address this information divide. ICTs can benefit women in agricultural production and to challenge existing gender imbalances in rural livelihoods by giving weather predictions, market pricing, and farming suggestions in an easy-to-use format. This enables individuals to make more educated decisions, manage their resources more effectively, and enhance their revenue. In conclusion, even though ICTs provide exciting potential promise for achieving gender parity in agriculture, specific interventions are needed to overcome the challenges that women farmers confront. Prioritizing gender-inclusive ICT activities, increasing access, and improving digital literacy should be top priorities for policymakers. Using ICTs to achieve gender parity in agriculture enhances food security, economically empowers women, and contribute to long-term development.