Struggle of Women Agricultural Workers

The inspiration for this booklet and this series on Women’s Resistance and Struggles comes from the courage, the resilience, and the resolute commitment of women leaders from the peasant, agricultural workers, indigenous women, and fisherfolk movements in Asia. Their stories of struggle and their determination to continue with the resistance even in the face of threats, harassment and violation of their human rights, are stories of sacrifice, heroism, and a belief in their struggle for women’s and people’s rights. These stories of women’s resistance against tyranny, subjugation, exploitation, violence and their successes motivate and encourage us in our own struggles. This booklet, the Struggles of Women Agricultural Workers, documents women’s experiences in Asia who work long hours with very low wages and in horrendous conditions without any amenities at the workplace. Many of these women agricultural workers work in slave-like situations in plantations and farms without the right to organise and voice their demands and are vulnerable to violence. Another reality is the lack of protection from occupational health hazards particularly their exposure to pesticides and the impact on their health and their children’s health. With partners from India, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, Booklet 1 presents the various situations and struggles of landless Dalit women in a village in India; of Malaysian plantation workers for their right to health; of Filipino women workers in a giant multinational agribusiness; of Tamil women plantation workers in Sri Lanka; and the women workers of Samba and Dayak Wehea in Indonesia affected by the expansion of palm oil plantations.


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