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Farmer Collectives and Shifting Gender Relations in the Eastern Gangetic Plains

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Leder, Stephanie; Raut, Manita; Saikia, Panchali; Sugden, Fraser
Conference: Practicing the Commons: Self-Governance, Cooperation and Institutional Change
Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands
Conf. Date: 10-14 July
Date: 2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/10353
Sector: Agriculture
Region:
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Abstract: "This paper examines to which extent a collective farming approach can address gender inequality in water management and the rigid land tenure structures in the Eastern Gangetic Plains. We investigate how intra-household power relationships, gendered norms and intersectionalities shape rules and practices of 16 farmer collectives, and reciprocally, how farmer collectives shape shifting social relations in regard to access to and control over land and water resources as well as agricultural inputs. Our results in Saptari/ Eastern Terai in Nepal, Madhubani/Bihar, and Cooch Behar/West Bengal in India demonstrate that a collective farming approach can strengthen marginalized interests and voices through collective action at the grassroots level. We observe how marginalized groups can enhance their participation and control over agricultural production, while at the same time, the promotion of improved and just water and land resource access is highly politicized amongst project stakeholders, landlords as well diverse marginal and tenant farmers."

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