Land of a Billion – S.2 Ep.9: Why Do Women Farmers Still Lack Access to Agricultural Land Ownership?

Why Do Women Farmers Still Lack Access to Agricultural Land Ownership?

In this episode, we talk about the various challenges that deny women farmers access to land rights.

The 2011 census suggests that four out of five women workers in rural India work in agriculture as owner-cultivators or wage workers.

However, women farmers continue to be disadvantaged when it comes to access to agricultural land ownership, compared to men. This often denies them their rightful recognition as farmers which, in turn, inhibits them from accessing the welfare benefits that are entitled to farmers.

Lack of reliable data and poor policy framework are some of the key factors contributing to the disempowerment of women farmers.

In this episode of Land of a Billion, we speak with Shipra Deo, Director of Women’s Land Rights at Landesa India, and Pranab Ranjan Choudhury, Researcher and Founder, Center for Land Governance, to understand the various challenges that deny women farmers access to land rights and the hurdles they face in being recognised as farmers.

Catch the following questions asked by our host at respective timestamps:

03.20: Could you tell us what has shaped this perception of you know, men always being equal to farmers? Are there social legal factors that have contributed to our perception?
08.53: Could you tell us how have these different data sets come together? And does it reflect one true picture?
15.40: Do you think it makes a difference to the reality of women when they’re deprived of their identity as farmers and how?
22.10: Do you find that the perception is India-specific, emerging markets specific or do you see other countries designing things especially for women farmers?
26.35: What do you think states or governments or even local level administrations can do to make sure that they get their fair share of access?
35.00: If you had to pick one core challenge that India needs to focus on to secure land rights for a billion, what would that be?


About the Guests

Shipra Deo leads Landesa’s work for gender-equal and inclusive land governance in India. She is passionate about the gender dimension of social development and specialises in designing and implementing gender-responsive strategies and programmes, including those related to land. In recent years she has done intensive research on inheritance by women and gendered aspects of land laws.

Pranab is a researcher and consultant on natural resources management and governance, with more than 25 years of experience. First, as a land use scientist with the Indian Council of Agriculture Research and, later, as an independent practitioner, he has worked with governments, donors, NGOs, and communities across South Asia, across landscapes, uses, and tenures. He also founded the Center for Land Governance in 2015.

About the Podcast

‘Land of a Billion’ brings you expert conversations about the most contentious of the holy roti-kapda-makaan trinity – the makaan over our heads – and the larger ecosystem that governs it.

From administrative tussles to understanding the conflicts on ground, catch these episodes every alternate Friday for a rundown on the latest charcha around land and property rights in India. In case you missed it, you can also catch up on Season 1 of this series here.

Hosted by Bhargavi Zaveri, a researcher interested in land and access to finance, Land of a Billion is a fortnightly podcast series produced in association with the Property Rights Research Consortium.

Don’t forget to catch our next episode, the last in the series, where we will have an interesting conversation on the intersection of climate change, agriculture, and property rights with Rachel McMonagle, Landesa’s Climate Change and Land Tenure Specialist, and Krutika Ravishankar, Co-founder of Farmers for Forests.