ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Bina AgarwalSubscribe to Bina Agarwal

The NFHS Data on Women’s Landownership

The National Family Health Survey collects data on landownership by gender through a woman’s questionnaire and a household questionnaire. The WQ figures were found to be highly inflated and showing contrary regional patterns and serious inconsistencies. In contrast, the HHQ figures appear reliable but need extraction and are not published. The NFHS should extract and publish
these for analysis.

Cash Transfers and UID

We support cash transfers such as old-age pensions, widow pensions, maternity entitlements and scholarships. However, we oppose the government’s plan for accelerated mass conversion of welfare schemes to Unique Identification Authority (UID)-driven cash transfers.

Rethinking Agricultural Production Collectivities

In the face of persistent rural poverty, an incomplete agrarian transition, the predominance of small and marginal farms and a growing feminisation of agriculture, this paper argues for a new institutional approach to poverty reduction, agricultural revival and social empowerment. It makes a strong case for a group approach to agricultural investment and production by promoting collectivities of the poor which, it argues, would be much more effective on all these counts than the traditional individual-oriented approaches. The collectivities proposed here, however, are small-sized, voluntary, socio-economically homogeneous and participatory in decision-making, in keeping with the principles emphasised in a human rights approach to development. The paper describes a range of successful cases of agricultural production collectivities from the transition economies and south Asia. It also reflects on the contexts in which they may be expected to succeed, and how these efforts could be replicated for wider geographic coverage and impact.

Disinherited Peasants, Disadvantaged Workers-A Gender Perspective on Land and Livelihood

A Gender Perspective on Land and Livelihood Bina Agarwal Not only has the pace of agrarian transformation in India been such as to leave the vast majority of the population still dependent on land-based livelihoods, but the form it has taken has created significant gender disparities in non-farm livelihood options. As a result, although access to land remains important for the bulk of rural households, it is critically so for women And it affects not just a few women, but a substantial majority of them. This is a feature of agrarian change which the absence of a gender perspective in most analysis and policy formulation has tended to obscure.

Gender and Legal Rights in Agricultural Land in India

Although the Constitution promises no discrimination on the basis of sex as a fundamental right, most inheritance and ceiling provisions relating to one of the most important economic resources in the country continue to he highly gender discriminatory; and the Ninth Schedule leruls itself to their perpetuation. Suiprisingly, these aspects, which impinge directly and crucially on women's legal and economic status, have received little attention so far from either researchers or activists. This paper attempts to fill some of this gap.

Rural Women, Poverty and Natural Resources-Sustenance, Sustainability and Struggle for Change

Women in poor rural households are burdened with a significant responsibility for family subsistence and are important, often the primary, and in many female-headed households the sole economic providers. However, their ability to fulfil this responsibility is significantly constrained by the limited (and declining) resources and means at their command

Work Participation of Rural Women in Third World-Some Data and Conceptual Biases

Some Data and Conceptual Biases Bina Agarwal There continues to be little appreciation that problems of unemployment, poverty and destitution are in many instances gender-specific so that any serious attempt to alleviate these conditions and/or prevent their further aggravation would require a particular focus on the women of poor households. The accuracy of national level statistics, which usually serve as the principal data input in the framing of development policies, is severely impaired by biases which lead to an undercounting of women, both as workers and as those available for work. This paper seeks to spell out the nature and sources of these data biases and attempts to provide pointers on how they could be corrected and some of the data gaps filled.

Rural Women and High Yielding Variety-Rice Technology

Rice Technology Bina Agarwal The absence of gender analysis in the vast body of literature on the socio-economic implications of the new agricultural strategy reflects uncritical acceptance of the assumption that the household is a unit of converging (perhaps even homogenous) interests, wherein the benefits or burdens of technological change will be shared equally by all members. This paper questions this assumption and focuses attention on some of the implications of HYV rice technology on women of different socio-economic classes. Consideration of the impact on women of the poorest households in particular is seen as important, because many of these women are the primary or sole income-earners in their familiesand their access to employment and income is crucial for their own and their families' statical.

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