#EachforEqual: Stories of Women from Kerala

Women constitute the bulk of people who rely on land in many regions around the globe. Nearly 80 % Women report agriculture as their primary livelihood in least developed countries as reported by UNDP. There is an indescribable role for women in contributing to food production and intra family food production. Women’s input, knowledge and guidance are indispensable to any productive, sustainable efforts in improving food security. Programmes that overcome gender biases, integrate measures to promote women empowerment and foster inclusion and equal opportunities stand to leverage and gain co-benefits. Among all the States in India, Kerala has always been in the forefront providing umpteen opportunities for women to prove their mettle in different fields of Agriculture. This explains the success of women in Agriculture in the State also.

Mini Manuel
Mini Manuel

Many women oriented schemes, local self-government and credit schemes have been rolled out to help women too. Many women have come up as collectives, some have emerged as successful entrepreneurs, some have formed Self Help Groups supported by NABARD and other organisations and have made their presence visible in the state. It has always been noticed that Women are capable of cultivating, benefitting themselves, their families and people surrounding them even if the land they own is negligible or they don’t own any land. There is a large scale conversion of paddy fields for non farming uses in Kerala. It is resilient leadership that encourages a large number of women to gain identity as “paddy farmers” under women collectives.

Skinny Vazhikilichira
Skinny Vazhikilichira

Bindu Pattepadam, Ramitha Surendran ,Amina Abdul Khader, Sulochana Thillakan, Skinny Vazhikilichira, Mini Manuel and Anto Sister are a representation of Women from Kerala who are gaining identity as Farmers. In spite of the many hardships they are also characterised by resilience. Each story is of courage and endurance and being tears to eyes. The article is based on Personal talks with the above Women Farmers.

#EachforEqual, let’s support these women, buy products from them and support them in whatsoever ways possible !

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