WomenPowerConnect (WPC)

Project Theme

Transformative Women's leadership

Target Group

Others

Project Period

01 Jul 2015 - 30 Jun 2016

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Introduction

Agriculture sector, in India, employs 80% of all economically active women; they comprise 33% of the agriculture labor force and 48% of the self employed farmers. According to National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) reports 18% farm families in India are headed by women.  Despite playing extensive role in the Indian agriculture production system, women most often are not recognized as farmers both legally and socially. However, recently women farmers‟ issues are getting recognized by the policy makers, academicians and sector experts. In March‟2012, APAARI (Asia Pacific Association of Agriculture Research Institute) had organized Global Conference on Women in Agriculture (GCWA) in India attended by President of India, Union Minister of Agriculture and Food Processing, and several other national and international sector experts, academicians, INGOs. Besides, on 12th May 2012 eminent agriculture scientist and former Rajya Sabha member Prof. M.S Swaminathan has proposed a private member bill called “Women Farmers‟ Entitlement Bill, 2011” to provide for the gender specific needs of women farmers. This might have led a changing political scenario in giving an opportunity to push the agenda of women farmers‟ entitlement to land and other inputs; and to strengthen the struggle for women farmers‟ rights and entitlements.  But unfortunate this Bill was never debated nor discussed and got lapsed. Now with the newly elected Government there is a need to start the engagement process in order to build momentum over the reintroduction of the WFEB. 

WomenPowerConnect (WPC) having membership base of 1000 NGOs and individuals in 28 states serves as the largest advocacy body for women in India, working to ensure the effective implementation of gender friendly legislation and active participation of women in policy outcomes. WPC work with a vision to create a world where women realize their full potential to live with dignity and freedom of choice. Oxfam India has the same vision for women farmers under its’ work on smallholder agriculture; hence, Oxfam India and WPC collaborate to increase women farmers access to land and other inputs; and to build their economic leadership. 

About the Project: The project “Building people’s movement for pro-women farmer policy and programmatic efforts” is aimed to address the deep-rooted problem of women farmers and women at large being denied equal land and property rights in India. The exclusion of majority of the women from access to and control of rural as well as urban land and property in India is also among the most challenging issues facing our country today.  While women in India have the legal right to own land under the Hindu Succession Amendment Act 2005 and the Muslim Shariah Act 1937 but very few have knowledge about it. For those women who do own land, ownership rarely translates into control of the land or of the assets flowing from the land. Without more legislation and policy pronouncements mostly in rural livelihood it seldom penetrates the surface and are ultimately ineffective against the established inherent power structures. To date, the patriarchal power structure running through urban and rural lives and institutions of local governance have proved far more influential and persistent than any law or policy. Interventions for genuine change to the extent to which women control land must be directed at multiple, interrelated institutions (political, legal, religious, and social) that have established - and continue to reflect and reaffirm - the patriarchal ideology that dominates India's rural society. 

Results to be Achieved / Impact: 

The Project seeks to build an encouraging and enabling social and policy atmosphere for women farmers and women at large for increasing their access to land and property.

•To mobilize and build capacity of youth and women leaders to bring in greater awareness on the issue of women property rights and women’s right over land 

•To build a favorable social and legal atmosphere for women property rights and women land rights by working with different stakeholders- policy makers, civil society groups, academicians, media, farmers group etc.

 

Outcomes: We have so far achieved in 2013-14(Achievements):

  1. More than 40 women farmers have been trained on leadership skills. 
  2. A detailed research on judgment analysis of cases on HSAA 2005 has been carried out. 
  3. Awareness campaign on HSAA 2005 in different colleges, universities, market places and in corporate houses have been organized and around 4000 youth have been sensitized. Campaign able to reach to 20,000 urban mass indirectly.
  4. Approximately 1600 people watched the performances completely. Around 500 people both young boys and girls, men Women and many old people participated in expressing their own opinion and speaking for the cause.
  5. Twenty five participants from Civil society organizations have been participated to explore Policy and Programmatic Spaces for Increasing Women Farmers’ Access to and Control over Land”

 

Quotes of Beneficiaries: 

“It is good to see the inclusive nature of the participants and hope that the deliberations at the consultation would be fruitful. We can work with WPC and other such women groups on the issue of land rights.”

Ms. Agatha Sangma, Minister of State, Ministry of Rural Development during the National Consultation on ‘Ensuring Women’s Access to and Control over Land’ on 27th March 2012

“I can assure you that in the meeting with the legislative members, issues concerning women would be placed on the agenda, so that the priority issues could be addressed in each of the monthly meetings.”

Speaker, Odisha State, January 2012

 

“When NGOs like yours come to our village and inform us about such issues we can get some information. Male members of the family go out so they get the information and those who are educated understand by reading. We are illiterate as well as we do not get chance to go outside.”