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My Mother and Other Mothers in the Neighbourhood

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

Women balance the precarious act of managing household chores and responsibilities that comes with the job and finally in the end leaves her drained. In Rural India they work on field during planting and harvest seasons.  73.2 percent Agriculture Workers are Women, but own 12.8 percent of land. In Maharashtra we see 88.46 percent of women working in the field of Agriculture. With no land to their name, they work completely at the mercy of the husband and in laws.  Most of the Central schemes require the submission of land title records, limiting the beneficiary base to the landowner.

Without the land title rights, they still remain unpaid workers. The most unpaid work in India is done by women, still we find the country lacking in giving importance to gender specific schemes. Even though this phenomenon has been documented and studied, there is still one sphere in which women’s unpaid work is still not accounted in the country’s gross domestic product. It’s high time this invisibilisation of women’s unpaid work is taken into account.

February 20-21 saw the Gender specific Kerala Budget, where we saw the Finance Minister allocating 3.809 crore Rupees to the Women’s Welfare Programmes. The Budget outlay is 18.4 percent of the total outlay, a marked increase from the previous budgets. A majority of the funds will be used in strengthening the Kudumbashree units, setting up of She lodges, constructing toilets and many other things.

It was very interesting to note that the Painting by Anujath Sindhu Vinayal, a 9th standard school boy from Thrissur, Kerala is depicting the unpaid work of women. He has titled it 'My Mother and other mothers in the neighborhood'. This was selected as the cover page of the Gender Budget document of the Government of Kerala for the year 2020-2021.

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