Editorial Chief: Jemimah M. Njuki, Africa Centre for Gender, Social Research and Impact Assessment

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Vol 4, Issue 1, pp 30-37, 2019                                                                                                    

The effect of patriarchal norms on women farmers when men migrate: a case study from West Bengal, India

Author: Patrick Kilby,1 Raktima Mukhopadhyay 2 and Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt 3
1Senior Lecturer for the Master of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development (MAAPD) Program at the School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Banks Building Daley Rd, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
2Executive Director of the Indian Institute of Bio-Social Research And Development (IBRAD), Prafulla Kanan, Kestopur (JL-17), VIP Road, Kolkata, India
3Senior Fellow with the Resource Management at the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University, JG Crawford Building, 132 Lennox Crossing, Canberra, Australia
*corresponding author, patrick.kilby@anu.edu.au

Abstract

Seasonal migration of men is a global trend, with the women left on the family farms with the responsibility of managing their household and smallholder farm plots. This paper argues that the patriarchal process and government policies prevent women to maximize the productivity of the marginal plots of land they manage in the absence of their menfolk. It is the patriarchal nature of local social structures and agrarian services, such as extension and infrastructure such as water supply, which has led to the alienation of women farmers from mainstream agricultural services. The result is that they are not able to take full advantage of the productivity of their small plots of land and market any surplus. This paper concludes that there should be more targeted policies for women in agriculture.

Keywords: India, Patriarchy, Women, Agriculture, Small Holder Production

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DOI: 10.19268/JGAFS.412019.3
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