Women Farmers Day Honours Their Role in the Forefront of the Indian Farmers' Fight for Rights
18, the 55th day of the farmers' protests at the Delhi border, was
marked as Mahila Kisan Diwas (Women Farmers Day) to honour the
contribution of women in the mobilization to repeal the farm laws. The
day saw broad participation by women in more than 300 districts in
India with large marches and tractor rallies organized, some targeting
members of the central government in their home regions. Women at the
main camp at the Tikri border organized programs to mark the day.
One of the reasons the tribute to the women's role in the
forefront of the protests was organized was in defiance of the
statement made January 11 by Chief Justice of India, S.A. Bobde at a
hearing regarding the farm laws when he asked why women and elders were
being "kept" in the protest, suggesting they should be "persuaded" to
return home, and threatening that the court might pass an order in this
been very active in the mobilization in their villages against the farm
bills since the summer and while more and more women join the protest
camps at the Tikri and Singhu borders, many others continue to organize
in the local areas as well as run their family farms, while other
family members participate at the Delhi borders.
students, the daughters of farmers, have been joining in creating
awareness using social media and holding discussions in the villages,
encouraging women to join the protests. At Tikri and Singhu borders
they often take the stage to address the protesters.
women have also joined the protests. One woman at a camp on the Delhi
border told reporters, "I have never been in a protest before, but I
would happily die for my land and for my future generation. ... We will
fight for our rights."
Women will be particularly
severely affected by the new farm laws. According to a 2018 Oxfam
report, 81 per cent of all economically active women work in the
agriculture industry -- 33 per cent of them as agricultural labourers
while 48 per cent are self-employed farmers. "They remain central to
farming, where they do most of the sowing, transplantation, harvesting,
food processing, and more." Of the rural women involved in
agriculture, the Oxfam report states, only 13 per cent own land.
Camp at Singhu Border
This article was published in
Volume 51 Number 2 - February 7, 2021
Women Farmers Day Honours Their Role in the Forefront of the
Indian Farmers' Fight for Rights