Can wives and daughters of farmers help intensify protests against three farm laws?

On January 26, women will be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with men as they arrive at the Red Fort in New Delhi during the tractor march
Can wives and daughters of farmers help intensify protests against three farm laws?
@PVenkatGandhi/Twitter

As the farmers’ protest enters day 42, thousands of women have come out of their houses to support the farmers in their fight against the Centre’s three farm laws. They will be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with men during the tractor march against the three farm laws. But can they help in intensifying the protests?

The farmers’ unions called for a tractor march to New Delhi on Republic Day. There will also be a tractor march on January 7 from all protest sites to the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP). Initially, the tractor march was supposed to be held on January 6, but due to heavy rains and bad weather in the capital, the farmers postponed it by a day. However, apart from men, wives and daughters of farmers will also be taking part in the tractor march.

A few days ago, videos and photos of women getting tractor lessons in Haryana went viral. The training was given to women so that they could participate in the tractor marches. The women are taught the basics of driving a tractor in various places in Haryana.

Women joining the march will intensify the farmers’ protest further. The aim is so that on January 26, the farmers, men and women will be arriving on their tractors at the Red Fort. Though many are considering it to be a historic event, the main focus of the march however, is to have the central government hear their voices.

This is not the first time India has seen women protesting at a national level. Going back to December 2019, women left their houses with their children and descended over Shaheen Bagh and protested against the Centre’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The protest commenced on December 11, 2019. However, the protest had to be called off due to Covid-19 induced lockdown on March 24, 2020. The women were willing to continue the protest but had to leave Shaheen Bagh.

In the farmers’ protests, women have made it clear that they are protesting to support their fathers, brothers and husbands against the three laws. They are fighting for the future of their children. These women are not just homemakers but also step into the fields and help their family in farming. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government brought in the three farms laws in 2020, the farmers have voiced their opinion against it and have been protesting since November. Now, with the women getting involved in the protests, the Modi government has been pushed further onto the back foot. The women are angry and are raising their voices as the new laws can reduce their family income which can lead to further tension and domestic violence in the hands of their husbands.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of India has adjourned the hearing of a petition by a lawyer seeking the repealing of the three farm laws to January 11. The SC noted that they understand the farmers’ situation.

Also, the Centre and the farmers’ unions will be meeting on January 8 for eight-round of talks. So far, six out of seven round of talks haven’t been able to end the Deadlock. Before the New Year, the government and the unions conducted talks during which, two out of four agendas were agreed by both sides. The Centre continues to be stubborn, stating that the three farm laws will not be repealed, however, the farmers are also adamant that the farm laws must be repealed. If the Centre does not repeal the laws, farmers will continue protesting.

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