Women Farmers Fight for Land Rights in Uttar Pradesh

Women Farmers Fight for Land Rights in Uttar Pradesh

Down To Earth, one of our favourite sustainability and science publications, recently covered an inspiring story about a group of women in rural Uttar Pradesh who are fighting for rights to their ancestral agricultural lands. The article features fearless women like Suresho Saini, who fought for her 1.6 hectares when her husband and in-laws deserted her and later convinced her parents to deed part of their land to her sisters as well. Thus, Suresho secured economic independence for the women in the family.

Studies estimate that in rural India, 75% of the female labor force contribute to farm production, versus 59% of the male workforce, yet Indian women own only 11% of the country’s land. When women do not own the land they work on, the Indian government doesn’t recognize them as farmers. When women aren’t recognized as farmers, development and entrepreneurship in rural communities suffer. And when women are economically dependent on spouses and family, they aren’t able to provide adequate healthcare and education for their children (especially girls).

Badal ja! applauds the efforts of GEAG and other brave women farmers fighting for land rights in India. The Indian government would do well to follow suit—and to recognize and support these women as important contributors to economic growth and social development.

Further Reading