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Page 145 7 Gender Dimensions of the Relationship Between Population and Land Use in the Indian States of Kerala and Haryana Sumati Kulkarni International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, India Environmental degradation in developing countries like India, especially its manifestation in the form of soil erosion, deforestation, and desertification, is often attributed to rapid population growth. Many other factors, however, also affect the relationship between population and land. Changes in production techniques, patterns of utilization of natural and human resources, lifestyles, and consumption patterns, as well as industrialization, urbanization, and rising aspirations are just some of the macro-level factors that make the relationship between population and land use much more complex. Land reform and other policies that bring about institutional changes, especially the processes of nationalization (appropriation of natural resources by the state) and privatization (appropriation of community resources by citizens), inject more complications into this relationship. In a country characterized by poverty and inequality, the complex interplay of these factors can have favorable or adverse effects on different regions and on different classes of society. A group's position in the class hierarchy and in the overall power structure, as well as its environmental vulnerability, are likely to determine its role in the changing patterns of labor utilization. Generally, people from the poorer strata are likely to be the greatest sufferers in this process. In patriarchal societies, not only class but gender is an important dimension of patterns of labor utilization. Recent feminist research on the effects of development on women has clearly revealed that in many areas of the world colonial and capitalist institutions did not destroy precapitalist institutions. Rather they preserved, blended with, and built on
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Page 146pre-capitalist institutions in ways that often were inimical to women (Hartmann, 1976; Leacock and Safa, 1986). In India, where the population is predominantly rural, few women own land or have access to other resources, including knowledge systems. In fact, the low status of women is reflected in a variety of indicators. In the agricultural sector, for example, most women workers are either landless laborers working for wages on other people's farms or unpaid laborers working on their own family farms. In the meantime, agriculture in India is changing. As a result of the agricultural development spawned by the five-year plans since the 1950s and the Green Revolution in 1970s, India has seen significant changes in its cropping patterns and cropping intensity. As for related developments, since the 1994 UN International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, India has been committed to a population policy that is pro-poor, pro-nature, and pro-women. How, then, have women fared in India in the context of a growing population and changing land use? To answer this question, this study will examine the gender dimension of the relationship between population and land use in two states of India, Kerala and Haryana. More specifically, it will examine the following: present a suitable framework and hypotheses for examining the gender dimension of the population–land use relationship, with a focus on the Indian experience; review briefly the demographic change, social development, and gender gap in Kerala and Haryana for 1971–1991; discuss the pattern of land use changes in Kerala and Haryana for 1971–1991; explore evidence of gender differentials in employment trends, based on relevant census data; and examine the direct evidence available from micro studies of these states on the gender dimension of the population–land use relationship. A FRAMEWORK FORAND HYPOTHESES ABOUT THE GENDER DIMENSION OF THE POPULATION–LAND USE RELATIONSHIP IN INDIA According to Boserup (1989), both the status of women and type of family organization are related to the agricultural system, which in turn is affected by population density and technological choices. A woman's status in a rural society, apart from her role as a mother and wife, depends on how her labor is utilized—a decision made by men. Her contribution to the required labor depends on the type of agricultural system in place, the pattern of land use, the crops grown, and the labor intensity of the methods of cultivation. Although the role of women continues to be
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Page 147largely subordinate to that of men, demographic and land use changes are introducing forces that may lead to new opportunities for women as well as new risks. Such forces can be categorized in the four ways described in this rest of this section. Effects of Land Use Patterns on the Demand for Female Labor Boserup (1989) has identified several stages of agricultural development and has described women's role under different land use patterns as follows: Stage One. In sparsely populated regions with free access to the cultivation of common land, the head of a family can combine the advantages of a large family with a negotiable work burden, with the result that all the work is done by wives and children. Stage Two. As population density increases, farmers replace long fallow production on common land with more intensive systems of agriculture using animal draft power. In this system men perform all operations involving animals; women and children, using only muscle power, contribute a smaller share of the total agricultural work. Stage Three. At this stage, growing population density and the expansion of cultivated area lead to increased cash crop production, which in turn leads to another pattern of division of labor by sex. Men produce cash crops; women produce subsistence crops and gather fuel and fodder, which is more labor intensive and is perceived as a low-status activity. Stage Four. With growing population density and increasing cash crop production, common land tenure moves gradually to private ownership of land. Because having a large family no longer confers the right to additional land, there are fewer inducements to have a large family. With privatization, men become less dependent on family labor, but women become more dependent on their husbands. With more intensive cultivation, the growing season is prolonged by means of irrigation, and women are obliged to do the jobs that involve hand operations. Many of these operations, such as weeding or transplanting rice to permit multicropping, are onerous and highly labor-intensive. The availability of unpaid female family labor promotes the labor intensification of agriculture. Stage Five. The advent of the Green Revolution in Asia entails the use of both labor-intensive and modern chemical inputs as well as new cropping systems. In this new system the application of chemicals to cash crops and the use of mechanized equipment are considered high-status occupations reserved for males. Thus in all the operations where these new chemicals and devices are used, female labor is systematically replaced by male labor. Once Green Revolution techniques are introduced in rice farming areas, women do much more hand weeding and trans-
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Page 148planting. They also become assistants to the male operators of the newly introduced rice planting tractors and threshing machines. Such machines, however, do not reduce their work burden; it increases because the machines cover a much larger area. Thus, by and large the intensification of agriculture and diversification of cropping patterns usually lead to a higher demand for female labor. Demand also goes up if those crops requiring labor-intensive methods of cultivation are grown more widely. Low yield per hectare was a major problem of Indian agriculture before the Green Revolution. Thus in India the Green Revolution has mainly consisted of new cultivation technologies—greater use of irrigation, fertilizers, insecticides, and, above all, high-yielding varieties of seeds. These technologies have been particularly successful in wheat-growing areas such as Punjab. One result of the Green Revolution is that agriculture in India has been experiencing major changes in cropping patterns. In response, researchers have tried to analyze distinct patterns in the supply and demand for female labor generated by the ecological variations in cropping patterns (Miller, 1981; Rosenzweig and Schultz, 1982). Some have hypothesized that the rice–wheat dichotomy in Indian agriculture broadly coincides with North-South differences in female employment patterns and to some extent with the sex ratios in the population (Agarwal, 1986). Sen (1987) added another agroecologic zone, coarse grain-growing regions, to that analysis. K. Bardhan (1985) elaborated on how women's work is structured in relation to poverty and hierarchy, and Chen (1989) presented empirical evidence of the specific patterns of the work of landless and land-poor women within each zone. According to Chen (1989), the studies just noted reveal several distinct patterns. Female labor force participation rates are consistently lower in the traditional wheat-growing belt of the northwest (Punjab, Haryana) than in the rice-growing eastern and southern states. Within the rice-growing regions, they are lower in the eastern states than in the southern states. The incidence of female labor is higher in irrigated paddy areas than in nonirrigated areas. Perhaps as a result, in paddy regions high productivity is positively associated with the proportion of female agricultural laborers. However, in wheat- or coarse grain-growing regions high productivity is negatively associated with the proportion of female agricultural laborers, except in hilly or tribal regions. In all regions except those of rainfed paddy and irrigated wheat, women predominate as family farm labor in all agricultural operations except plowing (done by men) and harvesting (done by both men and women). Weeding, winnowing, drying, storage, and husking or milling traditionally have been left to women across regions. Although the adoption of high-yielding crop varieties generally has increased the demand
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Page 149for labor, the more widespread use of chemical fertilizers and herbicides often has displaced women from typically female-dominated operations such as manuring and weeding. Similarly, the increased mechanization of operations such as planting, hulling, and milling has affected female labor adversely—that is, for women working on their own family farms, use of machines means a smaller workload but also less control over production. In the poorer households, however, female labor and income still play a central role. Technological development by itself, then, does not ensure that women will be better off. In a male-dominated society, men are likely to take over the functions associated with power and control key decisions. Thus the higher participation of women in productive work alone will not necessarily substantially improve their conditions. So long as they are not involved in decision making, they are not likely to enjoy their due share of the total gains, which increase thanks to technological development. In fact, women may, like other disadvantaged populations, be marginalized in the process, and they may move from a state of dependency to a state of exploitation. This conjecture is borne out by the available evidence. Rural labor employment reports for 1964–1965 and 1974–1975 indicate that for both periods the average number of days of employment was lower for women than for men. When their employment opportunities shrink, women often are forced to work at lower wages. Agarwal (1986) has observed, however, a heartening narrowing of the wage differentials for men and women in the southern states of India. Effects of the Demographic Transition Process on the Female Labor Supply Curiously, demographers have identified in India a North-South dichotomy in fertility and mortality levels as well as in the pace of the demographic transition. By and large, the southern states in India, especially Kerala and Tamil Nadu, have achieved birth and death rates significantly lower than those of some northern states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. In addition, demographers have noted a North-South dichotomy in the status of women, and they have attributed lower fertility in the southern states to greater female autonomy associated with the different kinship structure and marriage system prevailing in the south (Dyson and Moore, 1983). During the demographic transition, mortality usually declines earlier than fertility, and the time lag varies for different populations. Thus the North-South dichotomy can have significant implications for female labor: Larger birth cohorts in earlier decades result in larger cohorts of new entrants to the labor force in the current decade.
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Page 150 The decline in female child mortality means that more females survive to working age. The decline in female mortality for working-age groups lengthens the work span of female labor. A decline in fertility implies a smaller burden of child-bearing and -rearing, as well as a reduced role conflict because of the smaller family size. These behavioral changes can increase women's ability to participate in economic activity. Thus the demographic transition process is likely to increase the supply of female labor. Whether the larger supply will be reflected in the rising female participation rates will depend on the employment opportunities available to women, which, as noted earlier, are influenced by land use and cropping patterns. The observed increase in female labor also depends on the extent to which female workers are underenumerated, a phenomenon typical to patriarchal societies. With development and modernization, however, the resulting increased recognition of women's productive work will lead to more accurate enumeration. In India, conceptual, definitional, and operational problems with the censuses and large-scale surveys such as the National Sample Surveys (NSS) generally lead to underenumeration of rural women workers. As a result, the alleged decline in female participation rates has been controversial. A slow shift away from agriculture also has been observed, and there is some evidence of the increasing casualization of the workforce. Often, men and women workers are affected differently by these processes (Unni, 1989). The interplay of the factors affecting the supply and demand for male and female labor is likely to be reflected in different sex ratios among workers in different occupational categories. Effects of a Decline in Common Property Resources on Women's Lives Women are likely to be adversely affected by a decline in common property resources; in India, these are community pastures, forests, wasteland, common dumping and threshing grounds, watershed drainage, village ponds, and rivers, rivulets, and their banks and beds. A decline in these resources is associated with a variety of forces such as population pressure, intensification of agriculture, and increased integration of agriculture into the monetized market economy. Historically, common property resources have been an important source of sustenance in a rural subsistence economy, especially in dry tropical regions. In recent years, the increased marketability and profitability of the products of common property resources have led to their overexploita
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Page 151tion, as well as to the privatization of and encroachment on common property resources in many states in India (Jodha, 1989). Jodha, who studied 82 villages located in 21 districts spread among seven states of India, confirms that common property resources have declined by as much as 50 percent in recent years. This decline probably has an adverse effect on the lives of the rural poor, especially women. Because rural women are the main gatherers of fuel, fodder, and water, it is primarily their workday (already averaging 10–12 hours) that lengthens with reduced access to forests, water, and land. In parts of Bihar, where up to a few years ago women in poor households could get wood for self-consumption or sale within a distance of 1–2 kilometers, they now have to trek 8–10 kilometers a day. In some villages of Gujarat, even a daily search of 4–5 hours no longer yields enough wood for fuel (Agarwal, 1988). Given the limited rights in private property resources, common property resources have been for rural women and children among the few independent sources of subsistence. They acquire special significance in areas where women's access to a cash economy and markets is constrained because of strong cultural norms that forbid females to own property. Whenever there is encroachment on or the privatization of common property resources, women and other weaker parts of society are likely to be marginalized in this process and deprived of their sources of subsistence. Land Use Changes and Their Implications for Women's Health Clearly women are less likely to be neglected and more likely to be healthy in societies that attach more economic value to their work. In the course of a demographic transition and technological development, the reproductive and productive roles of women are likely to change, and they may become exposed to new health hazards and risks. Sex differentials in mortality are one striking feature of Indian demography. Female-to-male mortality ratios are lower in southern states than in northern states, and P. Bardhan (1974) has suggested that the higher economic value of women in paddy cultivation is a plausible reason. This hypothesis should be reexamined, however, in the context of the changing division of labor between sexes in the new land use pattern. More broadly, poor rural women who fetch water and wash clothes near ponds and canals are more directly exposed to waterborne diseases from rivers and ponds polluted by excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides. Women engaged in paddy cultivation have to stand for long hours in paddy fields, and they are more exposed to the problems caused by waterlogging and salinity. Transplanting rice and picking cotton, the jobs typically done by women, expose them to pesticides and may cause limb and vision disabilities or gynecological infections (Mencher and Saradamoni, 1982; Mohan, 1987).
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Page 152 DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILES OF KERALA AND HARYANA Lying on opposite sides of the Indian subcontinent, the states of Kerala in the south and Haryana in the north are revealing in their demographic differences (see Table 7-1 for a comparison of the two states). The death rate has declined in both Kerala and Haryana, as has the infant mortality rate, and female literacy has increased in Haryana. Nevertheless, there are significant differences in levels of well-being observed in the demographic characteristics of each state. Kerala, a small state with 3.4 percent of India's population and 1.18 percent of its land area, is sometimes known as a “model state'” because of its impressive achievements on the demographic front even though its economic performance has been poor. Salient features of Kerala's population follow. Kerala has always been a high-density state (749 persons per square kilometer in 1991). Even in 1901 its density was twice the average for all India. In 1991 Kerala had the lowest crude birth (18 per 1,000) and death (6 per 1,000) rates and the lowest decadal growth (14 percent) of the Indian states. The infant mortality rate has declined dramatically in Kerala—from 58 in 1971 to 17 in 1991. Fertility declined rapidly in Kerala from 1971 to 1991 (the crude birth rate from 31 to 18 and the total fertility rate from 4 to 1.8), which has helped the state to reach below-replacement-level fertility. The couple protection rate (CPR, defined in Table 7-1) increased from 15 percent to 55 percent over the two decades. Kerala has been a net out-migrating state for more than five decades (Zachariah and Irudaya Rajan, 1997) with a predominant outflow to the Gulf countries (0.25 million men from 1971 to 1981). Unlike other states, Kerala always had a sex ratio favorable to women (1,036 females per 1,000 males in 1991), indicating both the high status of women and the sex-selective out-migration. Kerala's notable achievements in the social development area include high female literacy, higher female life expectancy, high age at marriage for girls, and an excellent health infrastructure (88 percent of infants are delivered in health institutions compared with 25 percent for all India). Another important feature of Kerala is its large average settlement size, which makes the provision of social sector services more economical. Nearly 90 percent of the rural population lives in settlements of 10,000 or more. Haryana has a population size and density almost half that of Kerala, but it is growing at a much faster rate. Its social development parameters tend to be low among those of Indian states.
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Page 153 TABLE 7-1 Demographic Change, Kerala and Haryana, 1971–1991 Indicator 1971 1981 1991 Population (millions) Kerala 21.3 25.4 29.1 Haryana 10.0 12.9 16.5 Decadal increase in population (percent; over previous decade) Kerala 26.3 19.2 14.3 Haryana 32.2 28.7 27.4 Population density per square kilometer Kerala 549 655 749 Haryana 227 292 372 Urban (percent) Kerala 16.2 18.7 26.4 Haryana 17.7 21.9 24.6 Sex ratio (females per thousand males) Kerala 1016 1032 1036 Haryana 867 870 865 Ages 0–14 (percent) Kerala 40.3 35.0 29.7 Haryana 46.2 41.7 37.8 Ages 65 + (percent) Kerala 4.0 4.8 5.4 Haryana 3.2 3.7 3.8 Scheduled caste/tribe a (percent) Kerala 9.6 11.0 11.0 Haryana 18.9 19.1 19.8 Literacy (percent) Male Kerala 66.6 75.8 93.6 Haryana 37.3 48.2 69.1 Female Kerala 54.3 65.7 86.2 Haryana 14.9 22.3 40.5 Total Kerala 60.4 70.4 89.8 Haryana 26.9 36.1 55.8 Crude birth rate per thousand Kerala 31.1 25.6 17.7 Haryana 42.1 36.5 31.9 Crude death rate per thousand Kerala 9.0 6.6 6.3 Haryana 9.9 11.3 8.6 Exponential growth rate (percent) Kerala 2.33 1.76 1.34 Haryana 2.79 2.53 2.42 Total fertility rate (TFR) b Kerala 4.1 2.8 1.8 Haryana 6.7 5.0 4.0 Infant mortality rate (IMR) c Kerala 58 37 17 Haryana 72 101 75 Life expectancy d Male Kerala 65.2 66.8 Haryana 61.4 63.4 Female Kerala 69.9 72.3 Haryana 59.6 62.0 Couple protection rate e Kerala 15.2 29.7 55.4 Haryana 12.2 28.3 55.9 a “Scheduled castes/tribes” are socially disadvantaged groups that are given some concessions by law (for example, educational opportunities and jobs) for their upliftment. Haryana does not have a scheduled caste/tribe population. b TFR = average number of children a woman can expect to have throughout her reproductive span according to the current age-specific fertility rates. c IMR = number of deaths within first year of birth per thousand live births. d Life expectancy = expected years of life at time of birth. e “Couple protection rate” is the percentage of couples effectively protected by contraception in a given year. This rate is estimated from the available service statistics, which gives the number of women and men sterilized, number of women using intrauterine devices, number of condoms distributed, and number of oral pill users. It is different from contraceptive prevalence rate, which is the percentage of couples using contraception at a given point in time and is based on survey data. SOURCES: Office of the Registrar General, Census Commission, and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
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Page 154 Unlike Kerala, Haryana has a sex ratio that is unfavorable to females. In fact, in 1991 Haryana had the lowest ratio of all the states in India. In 1991 Haryana's death rate was almost as low as that of Kerala, but its birth rate was almost double. Fertility in Haryana is higher than that of Kerala despite the almost same level of couple protection rate, indicating greater use of temporary birth control methods in Haryana. The gap revealed when refined measures are used is much wider for both fertility and infant mortality, which were almost four times higher in Haryana than in Kerala in 1991. The population growth rate of Haryana can be explained in part by its rapid decline in mortality unaccompanied by an equally rapid decline in fertility. Haryana is a net in-migrating state. Its proportion of in-migrants has been estimated at 12–14 percent and its share of out-migrants at 8–9 percent (CMIE, 1993). Haryana has almost the same urbanization level as Kerala, and 56 percent of its rural population is concentrated in villages of 1,000 or more. Haryana has a high and rapidly increasing urban density. The gender gap in life expectancy is wider in Haryana than in Kerala, and Haryana is the only state in which men have a higher life expectancy than women. The literacy rate is much lower for women than for men in Haryana, and levels for both are substantially lower than those in Kerala. Both states are improving, however. In Haryana only 17 percent of births take place in health institutions, much fewer than the 88 percent in Kerala. Finally, 88 percent of women in Haryana are married by age 24. The comparable figure for Kerala is only 52 percent (PRC, Kerala University, and IIPS, 1995; PRC, Punjab University, and IIPS, 1995). Haryana is a rich state that ranked third in per capita state domestic product in 1990–1991 (Rs. 3,499 at constant prices), while Kerala (Rs. 1,886) ranked tenth among the 17 states. In terms of agricultural performance indicators such as gross cropped area per person, per hectare income, and per capita rural income, Haryana is lower than only one state in India, Punjab. It also has a rapidly growing industrial sector. Yet despite living in a richer state, the women of Haryana are not in as advantageous position as the women of Kerala. Not only is the gender gap in Kerala narrower than in Haryana, Kerala also is known as a state where births are kept down but women are not (Jeffrey, 1993). Historically, a matrilineal system has been a distinguishing feature of Kerala. Social reforms and women's organizations also have contributed to the higher status of women in Kerala.
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Page 155 TABLE 7-2 Land Use Pattern, Haryana, 1971–1990 Years Land Use 1971–1972 1981–1982 1982–1983 1983–1984 1984–1985 1989–1990 Forest 2.51 3.05 3.09 2.97 3.01 2.82 Nonagricultural use 6.66 8.06 7.48 6.82 6.76 6.53 Barren and uncultivated land 4.20 1.59 2.00 2.41 2.39 2.37 Permanent pasture 1.06 0.57 0.62 0.62 0.61 0.89 Miscellaneous tree crops 0.06 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.07 Cultivable waste 0.85 0.92 1.09 1.06 1.04 0.66 Fallow land other than current fallow 0.00 0.02 Current fallow 3.60 2.72 3.89 4.20 3.83 3.97 Net sown area 81.05 83.09 81.82 81.92 82.35 81.68 SOURCE: Indian agricultural statistics, Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Department of Agriculture and Co-operation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, New Delhi. LAND USE TRENDS IN KERALA AND HARYANA In both Kerala and Haryana, the area put to nonagricultural uses is well under 10 percent but increasing (see Table 7-2 for land use trends in both states). In Kerala the net area sown is about almost 60 percent and increasing, while in Haryana the figure is stable at about 80 percent. The amount of barren land and land under permanent pasture is miniscule in both states. Although the official statistics for Kerala do not indicate any change in forest area (assuming 28 percent), a study based on topographical maps (Chattopadhyay, 1985) clearly shows a strong downward trend in forest vegetation cover (from 44 percent in 1905, to 28 percent in 1965, to 17 percent in 1983). 1 The available official statistics on cropping patterns reveal that, although the area under most crops increased up to 1975, the area under food crops, especially under rice, declined after 1975, and the area under tree crops such as rubber and coconut and export-oriented crops such as pepper, ginger, and coffee increased substantially. These changes suggest that population pressure is having little effect on the use of agricultural lands in both Kerala and Haryana. In Kerala the amount of sown land is increasing, but basic grain production is declining in favor of cash crops. In Haryana the reduction in sown areas, which cover a little over 80 percent, has been very small despite a 30 percent increase in population density. As noted earlier, however, two important aspects of land use trends—the smaller area of common property resources and the decline in the area under labor-intensive crops such as rice—are likely to have significant 1Because all percentages in allocation of land use total 100 percent, all the official data are within 10–15 percent of actual amounts.
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Page 162peasant shared the produce equally. While the customary laws kept the land intact and prevented division and alienation, the system was reinforced by the laws of inheritance and marriage practices. Most of the cultivation communities, like the Nayars throughout Kerala state, practiced marumakkathayam—a matrilineal system under which inheritance and succession passed through nieces and nephews on the female side. Under that system, women enjoyed a pivotal role and the right to maintain the tharawad or the family property. They did not depend on husbands for support; rather, they entered into sambandham, a kind of informal alliance with men of their caste or above. Also under this system, there was no private right to property ownership—that is, it was controlled corporately by the members of the family. Although the eldest male member of the household was its manager (karanavar), his sisters had significant influence and had to be consulted on all matters related to property. All the members had the right to see the property was not wasted by the Karanawan. As just noted, in the state of Kerala the sambandham consisted of an informal union between Nayar women and Nayar, Namboothiri, Brahmin, or Kshatriya men. Under this arrangement, the male presented the female with a cloth, pudava, and then began to visit her regularly at her house. The children of such unions were the responsibility of the maternal house, where they lived with their aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews. Children had little to do with their fathers, and, because women had unions with more than one man (polyandry), the children bore their mother's name. A woman was thus known as belonging to a particular tharawad, not as the daughter or wife of a particular man. The oldest woman in the tharawad headed the matriarchal family. The original Nayars were soldiers who held lands and served as a militia. Some members of the present-day Nayar caste, however, have taken up other occupations. In the early days, the Nayars were forbidden by their law to marry, so that no one had an acknowledged son or father and all children belonged to the mother. Because three or four men often cohabited under mutual agreement with a woman, the Nayars never looked on any of their children as belonging to them. All the inheritances among the Nayars went to their brothers or the sons of their sisters, and all relationships were connected only by female consanguinity and descent. Although polyandry is now said to be dead, children are still known by their mothers and tharawad. Agrarian struggles and a series of land reform legislation in the second half of the twentieth century brought about changes by which a fair deal could not be denied to the less advantaged. Jeffrey (1993) describes these changes as a movement from “inherited to achieved status.” Women achieved some gains with these changes, but, in Saradamoni's opinion (1982), the societal contradictions they produced also pushed women to a
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Page 163position of subordination. Although the motivating ideas behind the social reforms were freedom, fairness, and equity, inequalities of various kinds prevented the benefits of fairness and justice from reaching all groups. Women were the greatest victims of these contradictions, because they were less equipped to get the new jobs. One study by Mencher and Saradamoni (1982), based on detailed data on the role of women in the production and processing of paddy in six villages in three states (two villages in Kerala), points out the significance of female employment lost when rice mills were introduced to replace the hand pounding of rice by women. Gopinathan and Sundaresan (1990) also found that wetland conversion in two districts, Thiruvananthapuram and Mallapuram, adversely affected female labor. Parasuraman et al. (1995) examined the relationship between population pressure and environment and its effect on institutional conditions and gender and class positions. The authors based their study on a survey of three villages in Kerala (in the Alappuzha, Kollam, and Waynad Districts) and four villages in West Bengal. According to this study, population pressure and land reforms have led to the fragmentation of land and a decline in per capita land ownership, which in turn has reduced the capacity of land to support households. Moreover, the shrinking land base apparently has made cultivation of the traditional labor-intensive crops uneconomic. This finding is reflected in the shift from cultivation of rice to coconut or from coconut to tapioca or rubber. Overall, several factors have affected the participation of Kerala women in economic activity: the decline in wage labor opportunities in the agricultural sector because of changes in the cropping pattern, the boom in construction-related employment, rising wages, improved access to a university education, the possibilities of out-migration to Gulf countries, and a drastic decline in fertility which has made more women available for jobs. Furthermore, a higher level of unemployment and underemployment among men has forced them to move into activities that once were considered women's domain. As a result, women gained little from these changes. They were even forced out of activities meant exclusively for them. For example, landed households normally hired women workers from landless and marginally land-owning households, but, because of the high level of unemployment, jobs were redirected toward men. The study by Parasuraman et al. demonstrated the combined gender-class effect by showing the gender gap in utilization of labor by the size of landholding. Table 7-7 reveals that in the “own labor” category (family labor), woman-hours are nearly one-third of man-hours. Indeed, in all landholding categories except 10+ acres, women work one-third to one-half as much as men. The results for big farmers (10+ acres) reveal no gender gap in the utilization of labor nor do the overall results for hired labor. Small farmers (less than one acre), however, use more man-hours
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Page 164 TABLE 7-7 Gender Gap in Labor-Hours per Household per Month in Kerala Villages by Landholding Size, 1994 Landholding Size (acres) Own Labor Hired Labor Total Households Men Women Men Women Landless 3.22 1.25 7.25 5.56 36 0.01–0.50 45.18 22.13 13.68 7.74 205 0.51–1.00 106.30 23.29 89.19 60.45 73 1.01–1.50 120.76 69.69 130.45 205.10 42 1.51–2.00 226.07 88.37 232.15 208.67 54 2.01–5.00 331.51 98.26 427.77 407.63 43 5.01–10.0 361.65 52.60 713.70 751.00 20 10+ 233.83 256.83 261.50 345.50 6 Average 119.64 43.42 129.08 126.73 479 SOURCE: S. Parasuraman et al. 1995. Class and Gender Aspects of the Interface between Population Pressure, Institutional Conditions and Environment, A Study for ICSSR Indo-Dutch Programme on Alternatives in Development. Bombay: Tata Institute of Social Sciences. of hired labor. For middle-level farmers, the gender gap is not consistent, while big farmers (with 10+ acres) use more woman-hours of hired labor. Because the observations about big farmers are based on small numbers, not too much should be read into the reversal of the gender gap from own labor to hired labor. According to Table 7-8, the gender gap in the utilization of own labor is unfavorable to women for all crops. It is strikingly wide for rubber, tapioca, coconut, coffee; for rice and ginger it is much less. For hired labor, the gender gap is favorable to women for rice, ginger, and coffee and markedly unfavorable for rubber and coconut. Because more and more land is being devoted to rubber and coconut, the implications of that shift are not good for women. The labor utilization trends in the three Kerala villages become clearer when related to the predominant crops in those villages. In Patazhi rubber is a major crop, followed by coconut and banana. In Noolpuzha it is coffee, followed by paddy and pepper. In Edathuva paddy is the dominant crop (83 percent). According to Parasuraman et al. (1995), changes in cropping patterns have affected women in the rural labor market in these villages. In Patazhi the demand for women laborers has declined. In Noolpuzha women are affected adversely because the amount of rice and ginger cultivated has fallen due to lack of irrigation. In Edathuva the intensification of cultivation has generated employment, but women have not benefited in this process. And, overall, except in Patazhi, women's contribution to family income has declined—in many cases by 50 percent—with the greatest impact on poor and scheduled caste women. Finally, Parasuraman et al. found that the strong trade unions in Kerala and frequent wage revisions in recent years were perceived by
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Page 165 TABLE 7-8 Labor-Hours per Month in Kerala Villages by Crop and Gender, 1994 Landholding Size (acres) Own Labor Hired Labor Total Households Men Women Men Women Rubber 129.43 7.22 139.52 18.69 113 Tapioca 36.26 4.82 20.27 6.66 89 Rice 118.97 72.24 167.6 278.40 179 Coconut 14.17 3.67 17.7 0.59 184 Pepper 73.54 22.92 27.1 1.0 100 Bananas 9.49 0.42 5.3 1.23 97 Ginger 75.21 52.48 77.7 85.58 52 Coffee 54.48 13.04 56.9 64.38 48 Other 17.09 5.91 22.5 6.73 44 SOURCE: S. Parasuraman et al. 1995. Class and Gender Aspects of the Interface between Population Pressure, Institutional Conditions and Environment, A Study for ICSSR Indo-Dutch Programme on Alternatives in Development. Bombay: Tata Institute of Social Sciences. many respondents to be the causes of lower employment. These developments have affected women more adversely than men. For Haryana, many studies have described the environmental problems caused by land use changes (Ansari, 1991; N. Singh, 1993; R. B. Singh, 1993), but micro studies by Chowdhary (1993) and Bhalla (1989) provide more insight into the gender dimension of these problems. Chowdhary has observed that in Haryana the dominant cultural norms did not hinder women's participation in manual work outside their own fields. But when women were working for others it was considered a status problem. Women's participation is lower in the richest regions than in poor regions or drought-prone areas. The larger the size of the holding, the greater are women's labor-hours in the field. Chowdhary illustrated his finding with some of the aphorisms used by women in Haryana: Kheti, pali, bandgi aur ghode ka tang, charon aap hi kijiye, chahe lakho log ho sang (Even if you have thousands of attendants, you should do four things yourself: farming, letter-writing, worship, and harnessing a horse. . . . A nineteenth-century proverb.) Jeore se nara ghisna hai (Women as cattle bound, working and enduring all.) The studies by Chowdhary and Bhalla reveal some very interesting trends for Haryana. The Green Revolution increased the demand for all kinds of labor. Thus with the increasing demand and the escalating labor costs, family women must continue to work. The extensive use of female labor in Haryana has cut across all caste and class divisions. Even so,
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Page 166when women engage in manual work on others' farms, they lower their family's prestige. Women from well-to-do families also contribute to all agricultural tasks but only on their family farm. Yet in some rich districts like Karnal ( Table 7-9) women are slowly withdrawing from agricultural work in all size categories of landholding and shifting their efforts from the fields to the courtyard, where women may supervise food preparation for the hired workers who replaced them in the field because of the tremendous increase in agricultural processing work. Haryana's pattern of utilization of female labor is closer to that of the state of Rajasthan than that of the states of Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra, where employment of female labor is related negatively to size of holding and adoption of new technology. In any work related to animal husbandry carried out by women, the class and caste barriers are clearly evident. Not only is Haryana a rice bowl, but in the wake of the “White Revolution” in 1970–1971, it became a milk bowl as well. As a result, the work of family members has increased substantially, and women and children contribute nearly 82 percent of the total work (regardless of caste and class). Here again, because of the decline in common property resources, women from economically weaker households in both the dry and the Green Revolution areas find life harder. Free fodder is hard to find, forcing women to roam wider in their search. Among the animal-related tasks—preparing feed mix for cattle, bathing them, making dung cakes—men have taken over the tasks now aided by electricity; the labor-intensive tasks are left to women. Yet women remain invisible in the statistics since their work is not reported. Another phenomenon that has sustained women's involvement in agricultural work is the migration of men outside the state to work. In short, even after Green and White Revolutions women have continued to TABLE 7-9 Unpaid Woman-Days as Percentage of Unpaid Family Person-Days, Haryana Operated Land Area (acres) All Haryana Richest Region 0–2.5 13.9 0.0 2.5–5 27.9 26.7 5–10 21.5 12.5 10–15 16.5 14.4 15 or more 23.7 18.7 All average 21.9 16.2 SOURCE: Bhalla, S. 1989. Technological change and women workers: Evidence from the expansionary phase in Haryana agriculture. Economic and Political Weekly 24(October 28): WS69. Of the 153 surveyed villages, the richest regions are those where a large area is under high-yielding varieties (Green Revolution) or where dairy farming is predominant (White Revolution).
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Page 167 TABLE 7-10 Percentage of Casual and Permanent Laborers among Male and Female Agricultural Laborers in High-, Moderate-, and Low-Technology Regions, Haryana, 1972–1973 Region A (High Technology) Region B (Moderate Technology) Region C (Low Technology) Agricultural Laborers Total Casual Permanent Total Casual Permanent Total Casual Permanent Total men 126,975 (100%) 43.1 56.9 125,873 (100%) 70.0 30.0 54,683 (100%) 91.2 8.8 Men from landless households 77,396 (61%) 17.7 43.3 65,595 (52%) 32.0 20.1 20,204 (37%) 28.1 8.8 Total women 22,599 (100%) 93.6 6.4 23,251 (100%) 100.0 5,084 (100%) 100.0 Women from landless households 11,700 (52%) 45.3 6.4 7,554 (33%) 32.5 4,132 (81%) 81.3 NOTES: Region A: Karnal District and adjacent highly irrigated areas—the region to which the Green Revolution came first and was consolidated more effectively.Region B: Most of the Hisar and Rohtak Districts (west to east-central belt) where new technology has been less widely accepted.Region C: Semidesert area where the impact of the Green Revolution is negligible. SOURCE: Based on Table 1 in: Bhalla, S. 1976. New relations of production in Haryana agriculture. Economic and Political Weekly (March 27):A25.
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Page 168 work on the family farm or with the family cattle, but the evaluation of their work has not changed. Female wage earners are hard hit because they are increasingly marginalized. Indeed, there are strong gender differentials in both work and wages (see Table 7-10 and Table 7-11). A woman is considered inferior and handicapped in acquiring new skills. Thus, despite the enormous rise in productivity in Haryana, women, especially women wage earners, have remained adversely affected. More specifically, in the moderate- and low-technology regions of Haryana there are essentially no permanent female agricultural laborers, while in the high-technology areas there are some permanent female laborers, but their percentage is only about one-ninth of the corresponding percentage for men ( Table 7-10). With better technology, then, the employment position of women improves, but that improvement does not imply that poorer households gain in this process. In low-technology areas, as many as 81 percent of female casual agricultural laborers come from landless households, but in moderate- and high-technology regions, the percentage of such women is much smaller. All the female laborers from landless laborer households are casual laborers in low- and moderate-technology areas, whereas in high-technology areas about 12 percent are permanent. As Table 7-11 demonstrates, although female wages continue to remain lower than male wages, generally the gap has narrowed. TABLE 7-11 Agricultural Laborer Wage Rates, Haryana, 1970–1985 Daily Wage (rupees) Female Wages as Percentage of Male Wages Consumer Price Index (1970–1971) Real Wages Male Wages Real Female Male Female Year (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) 1970–1971 6.44 3.96 61.5 100.00 6.44 3.96 1971–1972 6.84 4.17 70.0 105.67 6.47 3.94 1973–1974 7.40 4.26 57.6 140.72 5.25 3.02 1974–1975 8.58 5.02 58.5 173.71 4.93 2.88 1975–1976 8.55 5.22 61.1 158.76 5.38 3.28 1976–1977 8.75 6.32 72.2 157.21 5.56 4.02 1977–1978 10.44 6.68 64.0 171.13 6.10 3.90 1978–1979 11.17 6.61 59.2 173.19 6.44 3.81 1979–1980 11.89 8.35 70.2 192.78 6.16 4.33 1980–1981 12.41 9.62 77.5 225.25 5.50 4.27 1982–1983 16.14 13.81 85.6 247.42 6.52 5.58 1983–1984 18.15 14.40 79.3 264.94 6.85 5.43 1984–1985 19.35 14.99 77.5 291.23 6.00 5.14 SOURCES: (1)–(3) Jose, A. V. 1988. Agricultural Weekly 23(June 25):A48–A49; (4) calculated from Ministry of Labour, Labour Bureau, Indian Labour Journal, Chandigarh (various issues); (5) = (1)/(4) × 100; (6) = (2)/(4) × 100.
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Page 169 CONCLUSION The evidence available from the micro studies and census data reveals that in Kerala and Haryana—states representing two different types of population—the population–land use relationships have different implications for women's work and life. In Kerala, where the area under rice is declining, the women have seen their position in rural markets gradually weakened and marginalized. In Haryana, where productivity has increased tremendously and where rice is emerging as a cash crop, women have a greater role in productive work. Yet their position continues to remain subordinate to men, who do the more mechanized jobs. Women's work continues to be less valued and wage differentials persist. Technological development and the consequent changes in patterns of land use alone do not ensure that women will get their due share unless these changes are accompanied by efforts to empower women. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thanks are extended to B. N. N. Chowdary and K. Neelakantan for assistance in research and to Dandapani Lokanathan for computer work. REFERENCES Agarwal, B. 1986 . Women, poverty and agricultural growth in India. Journal of Peasant Studies 13 (July): 167–220 . Agarwal, B. 1988 . Neither Sustenance nor Sustainability: Agricultural Strategies, Ecological Degradation and Indian Women in Poverty. New Delhi : Indian Association for Women's Studies . Ansari, S. H. 1991 . Agricultural resources development and environment at district level in Haryana. In: Essays on Environment and Resources: Some Regional Issues, P. Nag, ed. New Delhi : Deep and Deep Publications . Bardhan, K. 1985 . Women's work, welfare and status: Forces of tradition and change in India. Economic and Political Weekly 20(December) . Bardhan, P. 1974 . On life and death questions. Economic and Political Weekly 11: 1293–1304 . Bhalla, S. 1989 . Technological change and women workers: Evidence from the expansionary phase in Haryana agriculture. Economic and Political Weekly 24(October 28): WS67–WS89 . Boserup, E. 1989 . Population: The status of women and rural development. In: Population and Development Review. Vol. 15 : Rural Development and Population: Institutions and Policy, G. McNicoll and M. Cain, eds. Based on the Expert Consultation on Population and Agricultural and Rural Development convened by FAO. Rome and New York : Population Council . Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). 1993 . Basic Statistics Relating to the Indian Economy (States). Bombay : CMIE , Table 1.10. Chattopadhyay, S. 1985 . Deforestation in parts of Western Ghats region (Kerala), India. International Journal of Environmental Management 20: 219–230 . Chen, M. A. 1989 . Women's work in Indian agriculture by agro-ecologic zones: Meeting needs of landless and land-poor women. Economic and Political Weekly 24(October 28): WS79–WS89 .
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Page 170 Chowdhary, P. 1993 . High participation, low evaluation, women and work in rural Haryana. Economic and Political Weekly (December 25): A135–A148 . Dyson, T., and M. Moore. 1983 . Kinship structure, female autonomy, and demographic behaviour in India. Population and Development Review 9(March): 35–60 . Gopinathan, C., and C. S. Sundaresan. 1990 . Cropping Pattern Changes and Employment Effects in Selected Districts of Kerala. Thiruvananthapuram : Centre for Management Development . Hartmann, H. 1976 . Capitalism, patriarchy and job segregation by sex. Pp. 137–169 in Women and the Work Place: The Implications of Occupational Segregation, M. Blaxal and B. Reagan, eds. Chicago : University of Chicago Press . Jeffrey, R. 1993 . Politics, Women and Well Being: How Kerala Became “A Model.” New Delhi : Oxford University Press . Jodha, N. S. 1989 . Depletion of common property resources in India: Micro level evidence. In: Population and Development Review. Vol. 15 : Rural Development and Population: Institutions and Policy, G. McNicoll and M. Cain, eds. Based on the Expert Consultation on Population and Agricultural and Rural Development convened by FAO. Rome and New York : Population Council . Kulkarni, S. 1997 . Dependence on agricultural employment in rural India. In: India's Demographic Transition: A Reassessment, S. Irudaya Rajan, ed. New Delhi : M.D. Publications . Kumar, R. 1994 . Development and women's work in Kerala. Economic and Political Weekly 29(51-52): 3249–3254 . Leacock, E., and H. I. Safa, eds. 1986 . Women's Work: Development and Division of Laborb by Gender. South Hadley, Mass. : Bergin and Garvey . Mencher, J., and K. Saradamoni. 1982 . Muddy feet, dirty hands: Rice production and female agricultural labor. Economic and Political Weekly 17(52): A149–A167 . Miller, B. 1981 . The Endangered Sex: Neglect of Female Children in Rural North India. Ithaca: Cornell University Press . Mohan, D. 1987 . Food vs. limbs: Pesticides and physical disabilities in India. Economic and Political Weekly 22(March 28): A23–A29 . Parasuraman, S., C. Sengupta, and S. Thiruvenkitasamy. 1995 . Class and Gender Aspects of the Interface between Population Pressure, Institutional Conditions and Environment, A Study for ICSSR Indo-Dutch Programme on Alternatives in Development. Bombay : Tata Institute of Social Sciences . Population Research Centre (PRC), Kerala University, and International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS). 1995 . National Family Health Survey, Kerala, 1992–93. Bombay : PRC-Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram and IIPS . Population Research Centre (PRC), Punjab University, and International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS). 1995 . National Family Health Survey, Haryana, 1992–93. Bombay : PRC-Haryana, Chandigarh and IIPS . Rosenzweig, M. R., and T. P. Schultz. 1982 . Market Opportunities, Genetic Endowment and Intrafamily Resource Contribution: Child Survival in Rural India, Center Paper No. 323. New Haven : Economic Growth Center, Yale University . Saradamoni, K. 1982 . Women's status in changing agrarian relations: A Kerala experience. Economic and Political Weekly 17(5): 155–162 . Sen, G. 1987 . Women agricultural laborers: Regional variations in incidence and employment. Paper presented at the National Workshop on Women in Agriculture, New Delhi, September 23–24, 1987. Singh, N. 1993 . Economic development: A case study of Haryana. Pp. 129–139 in Environment and Development: Views for the East and the West, A. Mukherjee and V. K. Agnihotri, eds. New Delhi : Concept Publications . Singh, R. B. 1993 . Land use change, agro-forestry and sustainable development in North-West India. Pp. 129–139 in Environment and Development: Views for the East and the West, A. Mukherjee and V. K. Agnihotri, eds. New Delhi : Concept Publications .
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Page 171 Singh, V., and M. S. Kairon. 1987 . An Agricultural View of Haryana. Delhi : B. R. Publishing Corp. Unni, J. 1989 . Changes in women's employment in rural areas, 1961–83. Economic and Political Weekly (April 29): WS 23–WS31 . Zachariah, K. C., and S. Irudaya Rajah. 1997 . Kerala's Demographic Transition: Determinants and Consequences. New Delhi : Sage Publications .
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Representative terms from entire chapter: