Becoming a Farmer: Women in Rural West Bengal, India

Raktima Mukhopadhyay, Itishree Pattnaik, Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

    Research output: Book/ReportBook


    Agriculture across India has been witnessing several fundamental shifts, of which the most important are the roles of women and men in agricultural tasks. Among smallholder farmer families, men are increasingly migrating out of agriculture in pursuit of non-farm income opportunities. Women who are left behind assume the roles of de facto ‘heads of household’, taking up tasks in agriculture that they were never prepared for. Becoming a Farmer charts this ongoing process of agrarian transformation from the perspective of these ‘left-behind’ women in rural West Bengal. As women begin to manage farming tasks in addition to household chores, and expand their responsibilities, do they take charge of their lives and their families’ well-being? This book records the slow and silent revolution sweeping across India’s countryside through extensive fieldwork carried out in the Dakshin Dinajpur and Bankura districts of West Bengal. It presents a deep analysis of changing gender roles in agriculture across socio-economic groups, including the experiences of tribal and Muslim women in the rural areas, and makes visible women’s contributions to agricultural production.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherOrient BlackSwan
    Number of pages254
    ISBN (Print)9789354426049
    Publication statusPublished - 2023


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