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Cambridge Global Food Security

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

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Present but not accounted for: women in Indian agriculture

BOOKING NOW OPEN! Dr Shailaja Fennell examines the huge gap between men’s and women’s participation in agriculture, and its relation to extreme patterns of gendered land ownership and social norms on gendered behaviour.
When Oct 18, 2018
from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM
Where Mill Lane Lecture Room 2, Cambridge
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Lecturer in Development Studies, Department of Land Economy and Centre of Development Studies and Fellow and Research Director, Cambridge Central Asia Forum, Jesus College

The latest Indian Census figures indicate that only 32.8 percent of women are primary workers in agriculture, while 81.1 percent of men are recorded as primary workers in the sector. This huge difference recorded in national statistics is belied by observations within households and communities where women labour from the small hours of the morning until late at night.

This talk by Dr Shailaja Fennell, from Cambridge's Centre of Development Studies, will address the challenges of recording women’s participation in Indian agriculture, how this relates to unequal patterns of gendered land ownership, and the role played by extremely hierarchised social norms on gendered behaviour. It will make the case for an alternative focus on the work that women do and their responsibilities in ensuring the production of crops and livestock. Making women’s work visible, and accounting for it in sectoral statistics and national income, will ensure a more inclusive and sustainable framework.


THIS IS A PUBLIC EVENT HOSTED BY CAMBRIDGE GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY. It is part of the University of Cambridge's Festival of Ideas 2018. The theme of the Festival is 'Extremes'.


Image: Guar bean farming in Rajasthan, taken by Toby Smith.