In South Asia, agriculture engages close to 70 percent of all working women
GN Bureau | February 8, 2017
Women make essential contributions to agriculture across Asia and the Pacific, comprising between 40 and 50 percent of the agricultural labour force in East and Southeast Asia and around 30 percent in South Asia. In China and India, women make up one fifth of fisherfolk and one fourth of fish farmers and they are responsible for marketing up to 60 percent of all seafood, said the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
FAO’s regional gender strategy and action plan 2017-2019 for Asia and the Pacific said that agriculture is also the primary provider of employment for women in the region. In South Asia, agriculture engages close to 70 percent of all working women.
Read: Engineering gender equality with design
The action plan noted that despite contributing significantly to the rural economy, women face multiple gender-related constraints and inequalities, such as unequal access to land and productive inputs as well as unequal participation in personal, family, and community decision-making. Women represent on average only 10 percent of all agricultural landholders in Asia.
According to the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index, unequal access to group membership and lack of decision-making power on use of income and autonomy in production pose the biggest constraints on women’s empowerment in Bangladesh and Nepal.
The action plan said that climate change and associated phenomena threaten rural populations throughout the region with changing temperatures and precipitation patterns, rising sea levels, and increased vulnerability to natural disasters. These in turn affect food availability, livelihoods, assets, and health and may have far reaching social impacts.
Read: Law and its implementation safeguard women's rights
Women and men will be affected by and respond differently to the challenges of climate change. Additionally, environmental degradation may also increase women’s work by making access to water and/or fuel more difficult, time consuming, or more costly. Access to gender-responsive technologies and modern energy sources reduce health and safety problems associated with energy acquisition and use and can reduce the time women must work as well as the burden of that work.
It went on to say that the benefits of economic growth, especially in fast growing economies, are not evenly distributed. The rural poor, ethnic minorities, some castes, indigenous peoples, and other marginalized groups are at risk of becoming even further marginalized by uneven growth. Women – especially those in female-headed households – and ethnic minorities are more vulnerable to shocks, such as price volatility and decreased food availability.
As income disparity and social inequalities worsen in the region and traditional rural safety net systems are disrupted by migration and demographic shifts, providing social protection measures becomes more important. These trends will be further shaped by increased globalization, trade liberalization and agreements, and regional collaboration, said the action plan.
Read: Food and Agriculture Organisation’s regional gender strategy and action plan 2017–2019
The chawl in Mumbai where Dr BR Ambedkar, the father of the Constitution, lived between 1912 and 1934 will be converted into a national monument. Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray made the announcement on Friday, On the occasion of 63rd death anniversary of the visionary leader, af
Amid shock and outrage across the country over the rape and murder of a young woman in Hyderabad, the police on early Friday morning killed all the four accused in the case in Hyderabad. Police had taken the four to Chattapally, where they had allegedly burnt the woman’s body after rap
India has been among the countries most affected by climate change, and ranks high on the Climate Risk Index prepared by researchers at NGO Germanwatch. The index for 2019, published this week, takes note of the alarming situation around the world and calls for more steps to mitigate the cr
In the science laboratory of a modest government school, a team of young students give a demonstration of what is called ‘non-structural mitigation’. When earthquake-like jolts are given to a doll’s-house like building model, the beds, the dining table, cupboards, wall hanging make a mess
On November 29, Uddhav Thackeray, the 19th chief minister of Maharashtra and the leader of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), won the vote of confidence in the 244-member Vidhan Sabha of Maharashtra. With this the month-old drama over the government formation in the state came to an end. The appointment of the M