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Friday, July 19, 2024

Female farmers going ‘Womb-less’ to feed their families

The poverty-ridden female farmers in India are undergoing a dangerous surgery known as a hysterectomy, to increase their productivity on field.

News Desk |

Thousands of female farmers in India are undergoing a hysterectomy in a bid to increase their work productivity in the fields. According to Indian media, more than 4500 women in Beed, district of Maharashtra, have undergone the surgery. The hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the woman’s womb.

Activists and studies surveying affected women say there are socioeconomic reasons behind this phenomenon. They claim that women are becoming “womb-less”, whether coerced or voluntarily, mainly for two reasons.

The first is that doctors are exploiting working women by scaring them into believing that the expensive surgery is beneficial for them, and therefore turning it into a profiteering business. The second is because of a perception that menstruation hinders work.

The female activists believe education for women is the only way out, to save women from precarious surgical procedures.

Beed, which is a drought-prone area, is mainly dependent upon the cultivation and harvest of sugarcane. The average income of women recorded per day in the district is around 202 rupees ($2.93) while the surgery costs $35,000.

The female farmers in the district have a tough routine, with 12-hours in the field, during the sugar cane harvest season. This strenuous fieldwork requires physical strength.

The impoverished women believe that it is better to spend a big amount on the hysterectomy, a one-time solution, rather than continuing to spend on medicines due to abdominal pain. Women are made to believe that their uterus is of no use after childbirth and are rushed into unnecessary surgeries.

Women say they can’t afford to take a day off due to health problems from the field since this result in pay cuts. “Given the water shortage, work is scarce. We cannot afford to lose it over our female problems,” one female farmer said.

Read more: Thousands of Indian farmers commit suicide each year due to India’s farming policy

The reports identified that the lack of education and schooling in the Beed district leaves the women with the only option to work in fields. Moreover, it hinders them from being educated on their rights and hysterectomy procedures.

The female activists believe education for women is the only way out, to save women from precarious surgical procedures.