Women, the real power in village labor

Hauling brush

I title this blog facetiously. Women in rural India — like much of the world where paternalistic orders still apply — share an unfair burden of the drudgery and muscle-rending, joint-stressing, fatigue-inducing labor that is day-to-day existence.

Not that men don’t work hard as well, but it would be difficult to say that division of work doesn’t shift more physical work to women while men are more likely to occupy positions of authority and thereby relative ease. Such is reality in a society where modern, Western ideas of equality are still working there way down from on high.

Above, women in Rajasthan carry brush and fire kindling through rocky scrub, which for much of the year is blisteringly hot.

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