Women are not only numerically half the population, but also the holders of immense talent and capabilities. Nowadays, women are stepping into all kinds of fields, even those that are male-dominated. One such field is the Agricultural Industry and women are gradually not only stepping into it but also making constant progress.
As per Census 2011, out of total female main workers, 55 percent were agricultural laborers and 24 percent were cultivators. However, only 12.8 percent of the operational holdings were owned by women, which reflects the gender disparity in ownership of landholdings in agriculture.
Women are mainly employed in three kinds of fields when it comes to the agricultural sector- as paid Labourers, as cultivators doing labor on their own land, and lastly as managers of agricultural production by way of labor supervision and participation in post-harvest operations.
The international development community has recognized that agriculture is an engine of growth and poverty reduction in countries where it is the main occupation of the poor. But the agricultural sector in many developing countries is underperforming, in part because women, who represent a crucial resource in agriculture and the rural economy through their roles as farmers, laborers, and entrepreneurs, almost everywhere face more severe constraints than men in access to productive resources.
In developing countries like India, agriculture continues to absorb and employ the female workforce but fails to give them recognition of employed or hired labor.
With the increase in rural men migrating to cities for better opportunities, women silently take on many roles in the agriculture sector - from being a homemaker to laborer to the cultivator and even an entrepreneur, roles of rural women are changing very rapidly in India. Women have started to predominate every level of agriculture and its value chain. About 80% of economically active women in India are employed in the agricultural sector.
The Indian government has also created policies understanding the role of women in agriculture and the economy. The government has also started implementing various schemes to improve the entitlements of women farmers which aim to bridge the policy gaps that exist in the sector.
We are slowly getting a step closer to gender equality every day in terms of employment. This is a delightful change to witness. The monetary power is slowly transferring from men to women. The future of India seems bright.