C.N., Anshida Beevi, K. Ravi Shankar, G. Nirmala, K. Nagasree, Jagriti Rohit and V.K. Singh
As per 2011 census, around 65% of female workers depend on agriculture and contribute to 55-66% of the total agricultural production in India. With the outmigration of men, there is a growing feminisation of agriculture in India, leading to an increasing number of women in different roles such as agricultural labourers, cultivators and entrepreneurs. This has contributed to an increased burden on women as their farm work is treated as an extension to their household work. Women's role in agriculture has increased significantly even among small and marginal farmers with changing agricultural scenario. Though women constitute a higher proportion of casual agricultural labour in the country, there is a significant gender gap in terms of access to resources, decision making, wage disparities, extension services etc. Their contributions to agriculture are often less-recognized and undervalued, even leading to their exclusion from decision-making processes, access to resources, and ownership of land. Women farmers often face gender-based discrimination, limiting their access to credit, technology and extension activities. Gender issues in agriculture have been a concern for many decades, and despite progress in gender equality, there are still significant disparities between men and women’s roles and opportunities in the agricultural sector. To address this, several initiatives are being already undertaken to raise awareness and encourage gender-sensitive policies and practices within the agricultural sector. To achieve this, women should have equal access to productive resources, opportunities, and public services and should be considered as vital development agents who can play a significant role in the economic development of a nation. Similarly, women farmers should be identified as an important link in the development of agriculture sector, as they play a crucial role in agricultural development and allied fields.