International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss


The Culture of Technology in Barani (Rainfed) Areas of Potahar: An Analysis of
Farming Tools and Technologies from Gender Perspective

Dr. Shabnam Bahar Malik

Paksitan is signatory to various international agreements and universal declarations including declaration of human rights, women’s rights, gender equality and most importantly “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women” (CEDAW) which Pakistan ratified in 1996. The paper reviews women’s situation in the light of these important human rights documents, Articles and Declarations, including CEDAW, CRS Report for Congress (United Nations System Efforts to Address Violence Against Women: 2008); Article 14 and Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on “improvement of the situation of women in rural areas” and the United Nations Millennium Declaration . The paper explores the culture of farm technology from a gender perspective in barani (rainfed) areas of Potohar, in Punjab, Pakistan. The findings are based on my Ph.d research conducted in a small village in district Chakwal, Rajgarh (psedunym). As per anthropological understanding of the term, technologies are not only machines and tools but technological systems are also
systems of meaning for their users, which I examined in-depth in this paper. Technology has a culture of its own and the manual and mechanized tools used in various wheat (staple crop) and groundnut (cash crop) operations (the two major crops of barani area) as studied in Rajgarh, symbolize the deep rooted gender ideologies and a hierarchical structure of the farming enterprise.An in-depth analysis of major wheat and groundnut tools and mechanized technologies used in selected crop operations of wheat and groundnut make it clear that not only certain operations are gender-specific but the very nature of these tools technologies have a gendered identity. Men monopoloze all mechanized operations using powerfull machines symbolizing superior, high-skill male areas of work as compared to women who do most of the post-harvest processing work using primarily manual low prestige hand-held tools and implements showing their low-skill and inferior position in social hierachy of work,
Malik and Majid (2004). This has negatively affected farm women and needs to be brought at par with men through implementing various proposed measures including access to productive farming land, mechanization in the areas of womes’ work, and enforcement of UN protocols addressing [rural] women.

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