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The focus of Women’s day often remains on just the urban women we see around us. What about our rural counterparts? Surely they deserve a piece of this recognition too?
A few days ago, a neighbour’s daughter came to me with her project on the living conditions of ‘rural women’ particularly in India, a ten-page write-up. I sat down with her, instantly grabbing a pen and paper with an expression of “what’s a big deal”?
The next moment I saw myself staring at an almost blank page with an equal shortage of ideas! I realized how little I knew about rural women and their living conditions. After extensive research through books and websites, I was able to help her put together a decent project.
The lack of knowledge had shaken me up, and I eventually came across the most amazing facts about the women living in villages that changed my outlook towards them.
India lives in the villages, and neglecting women living out there would not only deprive them of their rights but shrink the overall development of the country. This fact is what should lead states to engage in creating awareness, and pledge for the welfare of rural women of their country as well as all over the globe.
On International Women’s Day when there is an excessive celebration going on everywhere, this year a few noted changes have been made, to make the life of rural women worth living and at the same time self-sufficient.
Campaigning for women’s empowerment, for food and security and nutrition for all, is observed with a joint effort with the UN. The scheme allows getting a keener outlook on the achievement and contribution of rural women in developing agricultural and rural development, thus improving food security worldwide.
In India, almost 82% of women depend on agriculture for their livelihood, of which only 33% of them are a cultivator, and the rest are agricultural labourers. Apart from agriculture, they engage in crop production mainly consisting of cereals, tea, and coffee. Livestock care also plays a vital role in their earnings. Thus they, directly and indirectly, play a prominent role in the development of rural economy!
However, rural women do face an extreme level of discrimination when it comes to wages as well as when deciding their future! Women are always underpaid compared to any male worker.
Women working in the agricultural sector are almost 55% uneducated, most of them married at an early age, and saddled with the pressure of household work, earning, and looking after the children as well as the elderly person in the house. Many families consider the son over a daughter when faced with a choice of educating any one of them, considering the son to be the source of income. This situation not only leads to gender inequality but also depletion of better contribution towards society.
On International Women’s Day, it is expected from every citizen to spread the importance of the crucial role a rural woman plays in your daily life, and the importance of educating a girl child.
“You can tell the condition of the country by looking at the status of its women,“ famous words of Nehru, that aren’t an exaggeration. Moreover, speaking about rural women, their vital contribution towards society always remained unnoticed. This Women’s Day initiates a theme and aims to change this by bringing women and their contribution out to the world and help them get value and credit to their work. Nothing can be achieved overnight; it takes brick by brick effort. My aim this year on women would be to create awareness of self-sufficient and education to every woman who deserves to learn but struggle for necessities.
Because they too deserve to celebrate! They are the reason to celebrate!
Image source: shutterstock
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