With the introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, world leaders have pledged to gender equality by mainstreaming gender into national statistical strategies and prioritising data collection. This makes it evident that the role of data in society is enormous, despite its effects being seemingly invisible in plain sight. In a country like India, where more than half the population engages in the agricultural sector, most of whom are women, accurate data on gender inequality in land ownership is vital for gauging progress on women’s economic empowerment. Despite this, a glaring gender-data gap is visible concerning women in agriculture. Studies have not been able to assess the full extent of this gap, primarily because the current estimates based on national-level data sets can be limited or severely misleading. The limitations of currently available data are reflected in inconsistent datasets and policies that neglect the contribution of women on farms and deprive them of land rights, which in effect, ignores their unique position in society and the economy. This paper, while exploring the intersections of gender and religion, discusses the importance of bridging the gender-data gap in policymaking and the ill effects of the same not being done by examining the plight of the invisible female farmers in India. It also briefly looks into the missing data on land owned by women whilst exploring the complexities caused due to personal laws, which deprive them of basic rights meant to be available to titleholders.
Shah, Mahiya and S, Soumya
"Gender Data Gaps in Agriculture and Land Ownership: Uncovering the Blind Side of Policymaking,"
Socio-Legal Review: Vol. 18:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://repository.nls.ac.in/slr/vol18/iss2/3