Women constitute 69 percent of agricultural labour force of Bangladesh. The total number of women involved in agricultural work, if broken down, would be about 74% women engaged in raising cattle, 63% women preserve local seeds, 40% women produce vegetables and crops. Women are producing agricultural products besides their household chores. Unfortunately, they are not adequately acknowledged and brought under national initiatives targeted at farmers.
Rights of women in agriculture remain neglected in the various policies and projects undertaken for economic growth. That is why, the discrimination is visible in the case of recognition and equity for women in agriculture. If these remain unaddressed then not only Bangladesh’s food security will be in danger but will also pose as a serious problem in achieving the Success Development Goals (SDG). Therefore, it is necessary to develop an agricultural policy that combines not only the commercial aspects of agricultural development and also the human development related to it.
From our experience we know that little encouragement and strategic guidance can lay the foundation for enabling female farmers to contribute to the country’s food security. This publication captures the results of our work with female workers. Cases of thirty selected female farmers of the farmers’ network supported by ActionAid Bangladesh and local organisations working to promote rights of individuals have been highlighted here. We hope that this publication will encourage the individuals whose stories we present, and others will join the struggle of female farmers gaining their rights.