Since keep livestock, two third are women

Since ages, livestock sector has been significantly influencing the socio-economic development of rural India.

It has significantly uplifted masses from abject poverty and its expansion is pro-poor and impact is wide-ranging.  Within livestock sector, cattle rearing and milk production have been a source of livelihood to innumerable people at sub-marginal level and it provides gainful employment. Dairying has played a prominent role in strengthening India’s rural economy. It has been recognized as an instrument to bring about socio-economic transformation. Women’s contribution in cattle rearing is phenomenal. This sector has greatly helped in empowering them.

Empowering women means making them access to all the freedom of opportunities (Bhuyan, 2006). It includes enhancing their role in the economic, social and political arena of a society by uplifting their self. A woman is economically empowered when she has both the capacity and proceeds economically and the power to make and act on economic decisions (Golla et al.

, 2011). Economically empowered woman generates her own income which also permits her involvement in decision making process in all spheres of life be it be economic, social or political. In the past decades, health and education levels of women in developing countries have improved but no such progress is made in terms of economic opportunity. This is neither smart nor fair economics as under investing in women limits development and slows down the pace of poverty reduction and economic growth (Birthal, 2002). Women have the potential to change their own economic status along with changing the status of the communities and countries (Brokken and Seyoum, 1992. Women contributions as farmer, labourers and entrepreneur towards rural economy of all developing countries are crucial.  Women play a very important role in agriculture and on an average they constitute 43% of agricultural labour force in developing countries (FAO, 2011). Agriculture in general and livestock in particular are important to make women empowered by giving them employment.

Out of global 600 million rural poor who keep livestock, two third are women (FAO, 2012b) Livestock are the largest non-land assets in rural asset portfolios. Livestock are the significant productive asset with high expected returns (Njuki, 2013). Livestock are the asset which can be easily owed by women and which have the potential to make contribution towards the reduction in the gender asset gap within household (Kristjanson et al., 2010).

Livestock often is the single asset for rural women which are owned and controlled by them and which serve as an important source of income and cash for them during the time of need (World Bank, 2009).