What determines women's agricultural participation? A comparative study of landholding households in rural India

Itishree Pattnaik, Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This paper examines the key socioeconomic and cultural-demographic factors that determine rural women's labour contributions in agriculture in India, both on family farms (either as cultivators or as family labour) and as agricultural wage labourer. Based on the analysis of primary data derived from a survey of 800 households from the two Indian states of Gujarat and West Bengal, it establishes that women's work in the farm sector cannot be homogenized. Women's work as additional hands in family farms differs from that as wage labourers which is casual in nature; their work also differs across different regions. In the commercialized, relatively more developed state of Gujarat, women's labour contributions are significantly different from West Bengal's less commercialized agrarian economy. The paper concludes that feminization of agriculture in India is distress-led where it has both class (defined with income in Gujarat) and caste (social groups) connotations in Gujarat, while mainly economic factors influence women's work in the farm sector in West Bengal.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)25-39
    JournalJournal of Rural Studies
    Volume76
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

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