The great transformation in South Asia: feminisation of agriculture and food security

Presenter/s: Professor Nitya Rao

Event type: Symposium

Event date: Wednesday, 12 August 2015 - 8:30am to 5:00pm

Event venue: Coombs Extension Room 1.04, Building 8, Fellows Rd, ANU

This exciting symposium was presented by the ANU Gender Institute, the South Asia Research Institute and the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific.

Fundamental transformations are taking place in the way South Asian farms operate. Male outmigration, the penetration of market economy into rural areas along with a changing climate have played critical roles in this change, described here as the great transformation. Women are no longer mere assistants in largely male-driven farming, but are key actors shouldering major managerial and labour tasks in agriculture in patriarchal societies that have conventionally been resistant to changes in gender ideologies and practices.

At the symposium, renowned scholars and early career researchers debated the gendered effects of changing economic and agrarian relations and their implications for future food security.

This symposium featured a keynote address by Professor Nitya Rao on ‘Land, agency and gender equality: a framework for analysis’. This talk highlighted the need to develop a framework to examine the multidimensionality of women’s agency vis-a-vis assets, in differentiated governance contexts amidst such transformation.

Nitya Rao is Professor of Gender and Development at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom. She is renowned as a researcher, teacher, trainer and social activist focusing on gender equality and women’s empowerment, within broader issues of resource rights, social equity and rural development. 

Other speakers included:

> Dr Bill Pritchard, University of Sydney

> Dr Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, Crawford School, ANU

> Dr Itishree Pattnaik, Gujarat Institute of Development Research, India

> Dr Tahmina Rashid, University of Canberra

> Ramesh Sunam, Crawford School, ANU

> Mohanraj Adhikari, Crawford School, ANU

> MandipRai, ANU College of Arts and Social Science

> JoyceDas, Crawford School, ANU 

This symposium was funded by the ANU Gender Institute, South Asia Research Institute, ANU and the ARC Discovery Project ‘Farmers of the Future: Challenges of a feminised agriculture in India’, led by Dr Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt. 

This event was free and refreshments were provided.

Event contact: Mohanraj Adhikari


T: 6125 8944



Updated:  7 November 2012/Responsible Officer:  Convenor, Gender Institute/Page Contact:  Web manager, Gender Institute