Women and plant entanglements: pulses commercialization and care relations in Punjab, Pakistan

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    Commercialization of agriculture in patriarchal rural Pakistan has transformed women’s critical roles in pulses production and has re-organised the gendered division of labour in what used to be widely known as a ‘women’s crop’. Pulses are grown in the marginal and arid lands by small-holder farming families where women care for the crops as an extension of their other caring roles for the households. Based on an ethnographic study of women pulse farmers in Pakistan, this paper examines the complex relations of women with the crop and the challenges they face. It argues that the restoration of a caring relationship between women and the pulses crop through a re-animation of multispecies contact zones may be a way to ensure everyday food provisioning in rural Punjab, maintain traditional socio-cultural and ecological relationships, understand the masculinity that has pushed women to the margins, and value women’s contribution, experience, and knowledge in agriculture.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)84-96
    JournalOxford Development Studies
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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