Research Article

Women Peasants in India: Farmers or ‘Farmers’ Wives’?


  • Ameeta Motwani Associate Professor, Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi, Delhi, India


Even though there is an increasing trend towards the ‘feminisation of agriculture’, especially among the small and resource-poor farm households due to the increasing long-term migration of men, women’s work on the family farm is invisibilised to a very large extent in most parts of the country. One of the reasons for the absence of gender issues in the literature on agriculture is that women are not even regarded as farmers due to the absence of property rights for them. This paper is based on fieldwork conducted in villages of Punjab, Rajasthan and Telangana. It brings to light lesser-known facts about women’s ownership of land and their changing status in rural India. Based on data collected through primary research from 100 households in each of the three states, this paper concentrates on the less researched aspects of women in agriculture in India. The study focuses on women’s role as farmers, their control over land, their participation in agricultural activities on family farms, and decision-making, including decisions relating to the family. The analysis of data shows that there are regional differences in these aspects, which are mainly due to the differences in cultural factors relating to women’s status in society.

Article information


Journal of Gender, Culture and Society

Volume (Issue)

4 (1)





How to Cite

Motwani, A. (2024). Women Peasants in India: Farmers or ‘Farmers’ Wives’?. Journal of Gender, Culture and Society, 4(1), 08–19.



Women in agriculture in India, Property rights for women, Women Farmers, Patriarchy, Farming Households