The women who have emerged as leaders during the ongoing farmers’ protest have been featured on the international cover page of American news magazine TIME for its March edition.
Titled ‘On the Frontlines of India’s Farmer Protest’, the cover shows a group of 20 women at Tikri border on the outskirts of Delhi. The story talks about how women have come to the forefront over the last month or so.
The article – ‘I Cannot Be Intimidated. I Cannot Be Bought.’ The Women Leading India’s Farmers’ Protests – also highlights that beyond pushing the government to repeal the farm reform laws, these women are also fighting patriarchy and to change mindsets about femicide, sexual violence and gender discrimination.
“Why should we go back? This is not just the men’s protest. We toil in the fields alongside the men. Who are we—if not farmers?” Jasbir Kaur, a 74-year-old farmer from Rampur in western Uttar Pradesh, told the magazine. According to Oxfam India, 85% of rural women work in agriculture, but only around 13% own any land.
The TIME magazine cover comes just days ahead of the International Women’s Day on March 8. The protesting farmers have planned to observe the day as ‘Mahila Kisan Diwas’.
Farmers have been protesting at Delhi’s borders against the three reform laws for the last four months, and have demanded a repeal of the legislations.