The women farmers, who have played a crucial part in leading the ongoing protest against three contentious farm laws, feature on the international cover page of American news magazine TIME for its March edition.
The cover photo titled ‘On the Frontlines of India’s Farmer Protest’ captures a group of 20 women at Tikri border on the outskirts of Delhi.
The article – ‘I Cannot Be Intimidated. I Cannot Be Bought.’ The Women Leading India’s Farmers’ Protests – talks about about how women have been on the frontlines of the protest against the three farm laws, while outlining that the Supreme Court had observed that they should return home.
“In response, women farmers—mostly from the rural states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh—scrambled onto stages, took hold of microphones and roared back a unanimous “No!”,” the article, written by Nilanjana Bhowmick, read.
According to an Oxfam India study, 85 percent of rural women work in agriculture, but only around 13 percent own any land. “Women are not seen as farmers. Their labor is immense but invisible,” Jasbir Kaur Nat, a member of the Punjab Kisan Union told TIME.
As lakhs of farmers continue their protest against the new farm legislations introduced by the Narendra Modi government, a remarkable number of women are not only braving the weather by participating in these demonstrations but are also leading from the front.
The Quint travelled to the Tikri Border to speak to women leaders, earlier in February. We asked them about their roles in the movement and the motivation behind participating in the agitation in such huge numbers.
The agitation, which has now entered its fourth month, is being deemed as one of the world’s biggest protests where farmers from several states in the country marched to India’s national capital in late November and early December of 2020.
(With inputs from TIME)
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