This publication discusses key issues related to gender equality and rural employment in the context of poverty reduction. It presents various policy responses, empirical data and good practices
Rural employment is currently the subject of considerable discussion in international policy circles, particularly in the context of the global financial and food crises, as it could play a very powerful role in reducing poverty worldwide, thereby contributing to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
S. S. Shirahatti, M. S. Badiger, K. V. Prakash The woman does the most tedious and back-breaking tasks in agriculture, animal husbandry and homes. The research efforts at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) institutes have tried to relieve her of the drudgery by providing time and labour saving tools such as improved weeders, winnowers, threshers, paddy transplanters. The interventions were also provided in the areas of nutritional security, dryland and irrigated agricultural technology etc. Vocational trainings are also being conducted to impart skills to undertake different vocations. In extension activities, the woman is now the centre point and activities are being planned keeping her in view. Women are involved in various activities related to agricultural and allied enterprises and some of these activities are found to have profound health risks on women. In such situation, introduction of agricultural implements has been proved effective in relieving drudgery. Present paper is such an effort to analyse studies conducted by various ICAR institutes in improving efficiency and boosting agricultural production through agricultural engineering interventions.
Women in Agriculture - Closing the gender gap for development Women make significant contributions to the rural economy in all developing country regions. Their roles differ across regions, yet they consistently have less access than men to the resources and opportunities they need to be more productive. Increasing women’s access to land, livestock, education, financial services, extension, technology and rural employment would boost their productivity and generate gains in terms of agricultural production, food security, economic growth and social welfare. Closing the gender gap in agricultural inputs alone could lift 100–150 million people out of hunger.
No blueprint exists for closing the gender gap, but some basic principles are universal: governments, the international community and civil society should work together to eliminate discrimination under the law, to promote equal access to resources and opportunities, to ensure that agricultural policies and programmes are gender-aware, and to make women’s voices heard as equal partners for sustainable development. Achieving gender equality and empowering women in agriculture is not only the right thing to do. It is also crucial for agricultural development and food security.