80% of women are involved in agriculture
12% own the land they work on
8% have control over their agri income
HALF THE SKY, & HALF THE FIELD Many youngsters like Kawaljit Kaur (teaching kids below) have joined the protests as volunteers and feel a new pride in their families’ farming backgrounds
At the Supreme Court hearings on the ongoing farmers’ protests, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde repeatedly expressed concerns over “old people and women” being “kept in the protests”. Advocate A P Singh, who was supposed to be representing one of the farmers’ unions, assured the court that women would not be participating further, given the cold and the pandemic.
Except that this mutual agreement between the men made no difference to the thousands of women who have been camped out at the protest sites outside Delhi for several weeks, protesting the new farm laws. They are farmers resisting the threat to their livelihood, determined to be heard. “Women have been part of every struggle. Look at the freedom movement, look at Lakshmibai with her baby strapped on her back,” says the gentle-voiced 48-year-old Balwinder Bhinder from Meerut. She has been in Ghazipur from the first day of the protest, and intends to be at the forefront of the tractor rally on Republic Day. “There is no fear when there is no guilt. I am not doing anything bad; we are going to peacefully make our point,” she says.
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