The Dilemma of Agricultural Mechanization and the Marginalization of Women Farmworkers in Rural Areas

  • Fuat Edi Kurniawan Indonesian Institute of Sciences
Keywords: agricultural mechanization, farmworker, inclusive agricultural development, marginalization of women

Abstract

Agricultural mechanization is one of the efforts to accelerate agricultural development through technological changes in agriculture. However, mechanization replaced human labor. The development of agricultural equipment and machinery technology (= Alsintan), which produces agricultural processing machines, has created a new role that replaces agricultural laborers' position. Women farmworkers are the most disadvantaged by mechanization. This study used a qualitative research method with a case study in Gadingsari Village, Bantul. This study shows that agricultural mechanization in Gadingsari Village has shifted the working mechanism of agriculture, to cultivate rice fields from human power to Alsintan, such as tractors, grinding machines, and threshing machines. Apart from leaving the traditional agricultural processing system, this change directly affects female agricultural laborers' employment opportunities because machinery has replaced the job and because men operate the majority of Alsintan. Hence, the dilemma: Changes in agricultural technology accelerate agricultural development, but at the same time increasingly marginalize female agricultural laborers. In the concept of a risk society, gender-biased technology places women at risk of modernity. Consequently, reflection on these risks is needed to find ways to accelerate inclusive agricultural development and promote gender equality

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Published
2021-08-18
Section
Articles