Women are the backbone of subsistence farming and play a pivotal role in providing food security, in Pakistan, more than 75 % rural women are engaged in agricultural & livestock, unfortunately, their contribution is not acknowledged, they are not paid against their work and are considered only helping hands for their family which leads not to be considered their economic activity.
“The tragedy is that there are no accurate figures about rural women’s contribution to the economic growth and gross domestic product (GDP) which is quite significant” said Sindh Institute for Democracy and Development’s Zulfiqar Halepoto. A major portion of household budget is spent on men instead of women, despite their greater contribution. Boys are given preference over girls when it comes to education and health. If rural women’s work is recognized and recorded, it would help develop agriculture faster, and it would be the biggest single factor in reducing poverty.
· Women’s work especially in agriculture & livestock sector should be recorded to ensure their access to resources, to open bank accounts and to borrow money and buy agriculture inputs like fertilizers and seeds.
· Governments should give subsidy to female farmers for their active role in agriculture sector.
· Women’s role in agriculture should be made a part in national policy.
· Landless women should be allotted land, be encouraged to carry out their economic activity themselves, not dependent to men.
· Their access to micro-finance facility should be ensured.
· Women should be encouraged to make women farmers unions.
· For the education and lifelong learning, Sustainable Development Goals 4 & 5 should be implemented in letter and spirit.
· Kitchen Gardening for food security, must be promoted at household level. Government departments, International and Non-Governmental organizations should design programmes for training especially women in Kitchen Gardening, agriculture and livestock. Use of information communication technology (ICT) should be promoted, CDs can explain a large number of illiterates, how to work in livestock & vegetable farming, to improve & then forward with entrepreneurship skills.
Though women’s contribution in agriculture is tremendous, but it has been underestimated, the value of their output has never been acknowledged in national statistics. Need to be included women’s contribution in national statistics and they should be further encouraged and trained to manage their economic activity by themselves.