History is mostly made by the greatest minds with their ability to endure change. With the rise of civilization, many social movements considerably change the course of our world, today’s world is more inclusive and prejudice-free. However, at the same time, in the different regions of the world, many people are still yearning for the change that they deserve. Despite the gender, humans have always taken part in movements that challenged authority and social norms. Women have played a significant part in several world movements. From American Revolution to the Russian Revolution, women leaders took immense responsibility by leading the change. The American Revolution that lasted from 1775 to 1783 included women, and they called themselves the Daughters of Liberty, signifying the importance of their presence. In recent times, many marches and protests that involve women as a majority were seen, especially in developing countries.
Women belonging to developing countries have faced discrimination over time. They are mostly considered to be serving specific gender roles, or they are considered the perfect housewives who cannot lead a movement. The marginalized women of India have greatly challenged these norms during the Farmer’s Protest. The protests started in Haryana and Punjab, which led to the marches in Delhi between November and December. The protests were not limited to one aspect, but they also showed the Farmer’s community’s resentment against the Indian’s government controversial citizenship law. The Indian government is in hot waters since the protests have been broken out in New Delhi. A large community of farmers is demanding to diminish the farm laws, so the private sectors refrain from incentivizing the agricultural goods. A large ratio of Indian women farmers is also affected by these new policies. Women manage around 75% of farm work, yet the land owned by women is still less than 20%. The role of women in Indian agriculture is significant, but with the implementation of new laws, their role in farming is further disintegrated; thus, the women farmers marched for their just rights, giving a historical perspective to the Farmer’s protest.
The women farmers of India are still “Invisible” to the masses because they are hardly recognized for their exceptional work. The leading reason for them being invisible is their inability to buy/own land; thus, all of their hard work is greatly undermined. To the opposition to new legislation, women farmers took the lead and showed the world that they deserve to be seen not as a minority but the obvious majority.
During the Farmer’s protest, many stories of brave women were broadcasted by the national and international media outlets. A story of an 82-years old woman, Bilkis inspired many women farmers to continue their struggle of demanding their just rights. Bilkis showed great resistance, sitting at the site of protest from the morning to midnight. She inspired many young women farmers and youth activists to initiate similar peaceful protests in different states of India, so resistance can be shown against the unruly government.
Women like Bilkis are a symbol of bravery and truth in the face of bad governance. The marginalized lot of women in India faces several setbacks when it comes to equal rights and workplace laws, thus making them prone to injustice. Another prominent figure of the ongoing Farmer’s protest is a 50-year old woman farmer named Baljit Kaur; her motive is to protest until the government reconsiders its policies. The determination and bravery shown by these women are unrivaled. It won’t be wrong if these strong women are said to be the backbone of these protests.
The states of Haryana and Punjab are considered to be carrying feudal and patriarchal practices. The idea of women leading the change is not new to these states. The ratio of their male to female work productivity is still considered to be the lowest; thus, women do not get many chances to exhibit their strength. With the implementation of new agricultural policies, the effect would be worse on the women farmers as well as the women performing domestic duties. One of the leading causes of poor household conditions of Indian farmers is suicides, which largely affect the family system, thus putting the women into a very drastic situation.
The ongoing protests have made it very clear to the world as well as the Indian state that women are the true leaders and rebels demanding change, a change that is a necessity to survive and to endure the challenges of being a woman farmer in India. Most of the protests are carried out by women leaders, which are in the absence of men. Around 100 protests in different regions are carried out by these brave women. Women play an integral part in the making of history; their resilience and power are shown throughout the protests. The protests are still happening at full pace, and the demanders are planning to sit there till 2024 if their demands are not taken seriously by Modi’s government. It would not be wrong to say that these vigorous women are the backbone of the Indian Farmer’s protest.