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Abstract

This paper examines the nature of the feminization of agriculture, and factors influencing the phenomenon in citrus producing pocket areas of Sindhuli district in Central Nepal. Presenting the intra-household division of work in agriculture among better-off family members in rural farms, emerging themes from narratives of women farmers’ lived-experience as farmers are discussed. Based on the narratives, this paper explores how household members’ everyday lifestyles regarding agriculture and non-agriculture shape their lives differently. Outlining the problematic of gendered agricultural engagement, three in-depth case analyses of farm families have been presented through data collected from narratives and participant observation as part of ethnographic study. These case studies highlight how women attribute economic and non-economic rationales for their life choices, using agency as an analytical lens. Finally, given the choice dilemma individuals face to reshape their lives, this paper shows how and why women farmers’ socially ascribed responsibility for livestock rearing spurs the feminization debate. It also demonstrates the need to further explore the extent of livestock feminization to the pattern of gendered mobility and non-mobility.

Note on the Author

Hritika Rana is a PhD student at the Department of Development Studies, School of Arts, Kathmandu University.

Mahesh Banskota is a professor of economics at the Department of Development Studies, School of Arts, Kathmandu University. He holds a PhD degree in regional development from Cornell University, USA.

Sagar Raj Sharma is a professor of development economics at the Department of Development Studies, School of Arts, Kathmandu University.

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