The Value of their work
Acknowledging rural women's vital needs and the considering their unpaid work in farming and the rural economy are important. These sections include landless, marginalized women in government agricultural programs.
Female Labor Force Participation
- Low Participation Rates: India's female labor force participation is among the world's lowest, trailing most South Asian countries except Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- Rural-Urban Disparity: In 2021-22, the female participation rate stood at 35.6% in India, with rural and urban rates at 39.3% and 26.5%, respectively.
- Increase in Agriculture: Rural women's participation increased due to their engagement in agriculture, particularly in self-employment.
Gender Wage Gap and Unpaid Work
- Wage Disparities: Rural women working as wage laborers faced a significant gender wage gap. Self-employed women earned less than half of men's earnings.
- Unpaid Labor: A substantial portion of women, particularly in rural areas, engaged in unpaid domestic chores and caregiving.
- Land Ownership: Land ownership is essential for women to access agricultural schemes and sustain their livelihoods.
Gender Inequality in Agricultural Schemes
- Government Schemes: Cash-based agricultural schemes like PM-KISAN and PMFBY are prioritized, but data reveals low participation by women.
- Exclusion Due to Landownership: Landownership requirements for benefits exclude many women farmers from these schemes.
- Call for Inclusion: Recognize rural women's contributions and include landless, marginalized women in government agricultural programs to combat gender inequality.