Hassam Patoli

GENDER DISCRIMINATION IN AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES

Factors Influencing Women Participation in Agriculture Activities:
In Pakistan most of women of agriculture families work along with men on the farm as well. They work in rice planting, cotton picking and fodder cutting. For example, in Punjab most of women work alongside man in rice and cotton fields. Women are very active in livestock management activities as well. Women in Sindh, particularly tenant (haaries) families and in deserts, work along their men on the farms. Women in Baluchistan, generally of nomad families, take part along with family members in agricultural activities. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, women do very little outside the house due to purdah, rigid society and socio-cultural reasons. However, women perform almost all on-farm operations except plugging in hilly areas, arid zones and tribal belts. In Pakistan, the contribution of women towards farm sector can be gauged from the percentage of time spent by women performing agricultural activities. For example, in rice and cotton growing areas of Sindh, women spent 39.34 and 50.42% of man day per annum on these two crops respectively.

Involvement and Decision Making Power of the Rural Women in the Agricultural Activities:
Rural women’s participation is relatively high in activities like treatment of animals, deciding about size of herd, purchase of animals, sale of animals’ produce and feeding of animals. However, their participation is relatively low in activities like sale of animals, breeding of animals, fodder cultivation and construction of animals’ sheds. About 56% population is in favor that their family heads should give them the right in decision making. However, about 66% is satisfied with their existing involvement in decision making.

Rural Women’s Major Role in Agriculture:
Pakistani women play a major role in agricultural production, livestock rising and cottage industries. Women often devote more time to these tasks than men do. They participate in all operations related to crop production such as sowing, transplanting, weeding and harvesting, as well as in post‐harvest operations such as threshing, winnowing, drying, grinding, husking and storage (including making mud bins for storage). Rural Women in Pakistan carry out these tasks in addition to their normal domestic chores of cooking, taking care of children, elderly and disabled, fetching water and fuel, cleaning and maintaining the house as well as some of its construction.

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plants. The majority of farms own some livestock. rural women are involved in almost all livestock related activities except grazing. Because of the increasing population pressure. sheds. as unskilled workers who will accept low wages and increased workloads without complaining. separation of seeds from fiber. Women are joining hands to resist this onslaught. milk processing. Women are also expected to collect wood from fields. __________________________ Page 2 of 2 . cotton stick collections. For women it means loss of control over their knowledge and resources including seeds. rural women are also responsible for collection. keeping of livestock and its other associated activities like milking. against globalization and corporate agriculture. all other livestock. She performs numerous labor intensive jobs such as weeding. Like collection of wood. Evidently. The number of small ruminants (sheep and goat) is 3 per farm. Employers see women agricultural workers. preparing dung cakes an activity that also brings additional income to poor families. Rural Women’s Farm Work Activities: Rural women have been intensively involved in agriculture and its allied fields. Furthermore. The pattern of livestock strength is mainly influenced by various factors such as farm size. fetching water from remote areas is also the duty of women.Hassam Patoli Rural Women as Farmer: Women are also exploited as workers in the corporate farms that are expanding into rural areas. and commons and forestland for food and fodder gathering. This system of agriculture undoubtedly marginalize women’s knowledge and skills with the introduction of new philosophies and technologies ‐ thus eroding the base of whatever little power they had traditionally. Mostly women are engaged in cleaning of animal. cropping pattern. herbs and other devices for pest management. over grazing and desertification. their knowledge and skills. Clean drinking water is another major problem in rural Pakistan. watering and milking the animals. It is common practice in the rural areas of Pakistan to give an animal as part of a women’s dowry. Livestock is the primary subsistent activity used to meet household food needs as well as supplement farm incomes. hoeing. This wood is being used as a major fuel source for cooking. grass cutting. and preparation of ghee are also carried out by the women. Women are more exposed to pesticides that adversely impact their health and their family and community’s health. picking. In these large farms or plantations. There is a growing movement of rural women involved in asserting their rights as farmers and agricultural workers work to spread and mainstream ecological agriculture and to mobilize against violence. Farm activities.8780/‐ per annum from the sale of animals. availability of range‐lands including fodder and pasture. They have continued to reclaim their rights. women face difficulties in searching of fire wood. it is the women worker who is sought out and hired. Studies have revealed rural women earn extra income an average of the amount of Rs.

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