Anthropometric data analysis and constraints faced by women in operating agricultural machinery
Even though women are capable of carrying out all the works that men can do but there are some certain high physiological cost demanding physical works in the agricultural field that need to be carried out by men only. It is strange to know that women are facing difficulties in carrying out farm mechanization works. The survey conducted using the structured interview schedule gave an insight into the constraints faced by women agricultural workers. Workers were asked to rank the predetermined constraint which was evaluated using the Garrett’s ranking method. It was evident from the results obtained that lack of awareness about the machines and its controls together with lack of training and extension services prevented the women workers from benefiting from mechanization. Also, financial dependence, gender gap, difficulty in operating machines and exclusion from power and decision making were ranked 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th by the workers, respectively. The women workers were also worried about the technical knowhow of the machines as most machines required frequent troubleshooting and maintenance. The comparison made on the anthropometric data showed that out of the twenty six anthropometric parameters involved just ten parameters viz. buttock popliteal height, elbow rest height, wall to acromian , shoulder grip length, thigh clearance sitting, hip breadth sitting, grip diameter, grip span and span akimbo have higher values for female workers than that of the male workers. The exerting force required to operate machinery controls were significantly different. Hence there was urgent need to develop women-friendly designs that will suit women anthropometric measurements which will be incorporated into the machines so as to make Indian women workers or operators comfortable with the use of agricultural machines and tractors.