Women take over farm protests in India

On stage, front and center, Indian women led protests in Delhi on Monday for International Women's Day.

Women tattooed their hands with henna, reading 'farmer unity' and 'long live the revolution'.

They demanded the scrapping of new laws that open up agriculture produce markets to private buyers.

Activist Sudesh Goyat said the protests were not just about improving the rights of farmers, but the first time that women from rural areas were able to showcase and highlight the contribution of female farmers:

“This shows women have power. Women who work as labourers or who are from an agricultural background and even women from military households have power… this maternal force has awakened for their rights. This protest will change history. “

Since December, many farmers accompanied by their families have camped at three sites on the outskirts of Delhi.

They fear the reforms will leave them at the mercy of big corporate buyers and end the practice of assured government purchases.

But the government says the reforms will bring private investment into a vast and neglected farm sector, improve supply chains and cut colossal waste.

Faced with the protests, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government offered to suspend the laws for 18 months, but the farmers have refused to back down.

They say they won’t give in until their demands are met.