It is SHE who sows the seed, tends the crops, reaps the harvest and preserves the seed for the next cycle of agriculture. It is SHE who tends to the livestock animals with the same care that she does her own children. Yet, it is SHE who is denied the formal recognition of a farmer – she can only be a farmer’s wife!
Women comprise an average 43 percent of the agricultural labour force of developing countries. The female share of the agricultural labour force ranges from about 20 percent in the Americas to almost 50 percent in East and Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa (http://www.fao.org/docrep/meeting/022/mb054e.pdf). These numbers show the relevance women have in terms of making the land productive. However, irrespective of the immense contribution that women provide towards land and land based activities their right over land, land produce, land ownership, land tenure, decision making is extremely limited. It is said that women supply much of the labour under contract farming arrangements, but female farmers are largely excluded from signing contracts themselves because they lack secure control over land, family labour and other resources required to guarantee delivery of a reliable flow of produce. (http://www.fao.org/docrep/meeting/022/mb054e.pdf).
Unequal rights brought about by different factors unique to each of the countries has been evident in Asia, as it is in the whole world—that may be traced in history, religion, and culture, among others. A study titled “Gender and Land Statistics” by FAO gave an introduction to the Gender and Land Rights Database (GLRD) looking at the distribution of agricultural holders by sex. It was revealed that in India, the percentage of land holding by female ranges between 10-19%. Also, it was observed that in case of Joint or Solo ownership in South Asian countries the ratio of male to female land ownership is at 27:10 and 52.2:8.5 in India and Bangladesh, respectively. (http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5488e.pdf).
SHE LAND is an online space that aims to erase gender-based discrimination. It is an online effort to contribute to the land rights movement that stresses on ensuring land rights of women! It is a movement that believes that every land is a SHE LAND, where what matters is HER LAND. HER RIGHT. HER CHOICE.