Things to know about women in Nepal :- The situation of women in Nepal has changed throughout history. In the early 1990s, as in other Asian countries, women were subordinated to men in virtually all walks of life. In the past, Nepal was predominantly a patriarchal society where women are subordinate to men in virtually all walks of life.
Men were considered to be heads of household and superior to women, while the social norms and values of that time were also biased in favor of men. This strong bias in favor of children in society meant that daughters were discriminated from birth and did not have the same opportunities to achieve all aspects of development.
Daughters were deprived of privileges such as rights, education, medical care, property rights of parents, social status, the last rites of deceased parents, and were considered the property and responsibility of others.
In the last century, the role and status of women in Nepal has changed dramatically and reduced the barrier to gender inequality. While the 1990 Constitution guaranteed all citizens the fundamental rights without discrimination based on ethnicity, caste, religion or gender, the modernization of society along with the general public’s access to education has played a important role in promoting gender equality.
The role of women has changed in several ways in modern Nepalese society. Despite the difficult post-conflict transition context, Nepal is not only rapidly moving towards economic development, but also achieving goals for poverty and hunger, universal primary education, child mortality, maternal health and health. gender equality, and the empowerment of women.
The number of women in the Constituent Assembly increased dramatically to 29% in the November 2013 elections, from 2.9% in 1991 (then Parliament). Women now assume leadership roles and participate in decision making at all levels.
Government participation has been intensified to improve accountability and monitoring of gender equality commitments and to establish and strengthen links between normative and operational aspects of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Today, Nepalese women resist cultural traditions and become community leaders, environmental policies and business owners. In October 2015, Nepal elected its first president, Bidhya Devi Bhandari.
Other famous Nepalese women are CNN’s hero of the year, Anuradha Koirala, Pushpa Basnet, the first woman to climb the mountain Sagarmatha, Pasang Lamu Sherpa, internationally awarded athletes Mira Rai, Phupu Lhamu Khatri and the first President of Justice Sushila Karki. Here are the conditions of women in Nepal in different sectors.
Law and provision
In the 2015 Constitution of Nepal, article 38 mentioned women’s rights. Here it was described that all women should have the same right to involvement without gender discrimination. Every woman has the right to safe motherhood and reproductive health.
There should be no physical, mental, sexual or psychological violence against women or any form of oppression based on religious, social and cultural traditions and other practices.
Such an act is punishable and the victim is entitled to compensation in accordance with the law. Women have the right to participate in all state structures and agencies based on the principle of proportional inclusion. Women have the right to special opportunities in the fields of education, health, employment and social security due to positive discrimination. Both spouses have the same rights in property and family matters.
In terms of women in the economy, a significant proportion of Nepalese women (40 percent) are economically active; Most of them work in agriculture. They work primarily as unpaid family workers in subsistence agriculture with low technology and primitive agricultural practices.
They carry twice the workload in the family and on the farm and have to work long hours. As more and more men move to other non-agricultural sectors, agriculture is becoming increasingly “feminized.” Women participate extensively in tourism and related sectors. Her employment in organized manufacturing is also increasing.
However, in all these sectors they are at a lower level due to educational disadvantages and management distortions. Their working conditions are bad and union activism low. These problems are exacerbated by the lack of employment broken down by gender and salary data.
The general organization of our social system is such that most women own a home without power or prestige, and men have the power to control women. Whether educated or illiterate, women are under the control of men. The proportion of economically active women in Nepal is quite high compared to other countries in South Asia.
This is partly due to predominant subsistence agriculture and male migration from the mountains. According to the 2008 Active Population Survey, 80.1% of women are economically active (compared to 87.5% of men). 29 Of the employees, 89% are women in agriculture and forestry, compared with 70% of men.
In Nepal, very few women are employed. They can study law, but few can enter the profession. The representation of women in the bureaucracy is also very low. So far, only one woman has served as an ambassador. The workload of Nepalese women is immense.
They work about 16 hours a day. Nepalese women are mainly engaged in agriculture, the carpet industry and wage labor. In addition, Nepalese women are forced to resort to prostitution and be sold as commercial sex workers. Due to modernization, your workload has certainly increased.
Therefore, they are now forced to play three roles: that of the mother, a traditional woman and a participant in the community. In general, Nepalese women have much less access to industrial credits, regardless of ecological regions, urban or rural areas and ethnic or Castilian groups.
To complicate economic disparity is the increasing feminization of poverty. To remedy this, women need full economic rights. Some of the changes can be seen these days so far. Many women are actively involved in business and banking sector. They are assisting their family economy. Family member and spouse seems pretty positive toward these.
Gender based inequality
Indigenous women have a relatively better status in terms of social mobility, decision making and sexuality than Hindu women. But Muslim women have the worst social status among women who belong to different religions and cultures.
The existing dowry system is one of the obstacles for Nepalese women. Many newly married women, especially in Terai, are severely tortured by the spouse and other older relatives. In general, the literacy rate of women is considerably low. Only 24.7% of Nepalese women have reading and writing skills.
Society of Nepal is believed as patriarchal society that roles, story, and orientation of society over male has been dominating over female. For the same sort of task or work, female are paid less then male. In many jobs, man is preferred over woman.
Sexual violence is the major issue of south Asia. Most of the girl feel insecure while they travel alone, or walks at night time. Many cases of sexual harassment and rape have been reported, and there are many cases which are suppressed over society.
Women are harassed at their workplace, at their own family, school and most of the voice against violence are not raised for the sake of the dignity of person and society, and this is encouraging the crime to get increased.
Recently, rape and murder of a girl of the Western part of Nepal, Nirmala Panta shows the clear figure of security for women in Nepal. This case is still unsolved, and the nature that the Nepal Government and Police administration being irresponsible can show how unsafe are girls in our society.
Parents do not usually allow their girls, to roam around night. Girls are shamed for their sense of wearing clothes. People think, clothes are the main reason, that women and girls are susceptible to sexual harassment, which is wrong.
Broaden judgment and moral behavior of people for judging about a girl and her appearance is necessary to eradicate this problem. People should develop the surrounding that would respect the girl and their dignity, and law and security should be strict against sexual violence.
Women’s access to political and administrative decision-making positions was minimal (less than 10% and 5%, respectively), since they had no access to education or economic resources, they had no social expectations of exclusive budgetary responsibility and limited mobility for male colleagues.
Women’s participation in politics is only one fifth of men’s participation, and the same pattern prevails in administrative occupations and occupations. Although a significant proportion of women, about 40 percent, are economically active, many unpaid family members work in subsistence farming.
Women have no human rights and are second-class citizens in many ways. Social discrimination against women is closely linked to legislation that deprives women of equal opportunities with men. Under Nepalese law, a woman’s access to land and property results from her marriage relationship.
Although the Property Rights Law was recently passed, which establishes the same rights for single daughters as for parental property, it does not protect the independence of women, since they must return these parental assets after marriage.
While the law It is part of the property For a divorced and widowed person, these provisions are only useful for those who have access to legal services. After the restoration of democracy (1990) only 32 women were members of parliament. So far, only 3% or 5% of female representatives are expected in the National Assembly and the House of Representatives.
In the central committees of national parties such as the Congress of Nepal, CPN (UML) and RPP, no more than three members have been women. The parties have not adopted 33% of the reserve spaces for women in their manifests.
There were only two women in special class who, about five years ago, occupied 85 seats in the civil service of Nepal and occupied all the remaining seats of men. Even in third-grade positions, with a total of 7,418 seats, only 8 percent were women.
Insignificant nomination or representation of women in constitutional bodies, working groups and organizations. The conservative sense that women should not interfere in politics continues to prevail in Nepalese society.
Roles in the family
The position of a woman in a family is a crucial factor for her status in this family and in society in general. Thus, a woman’s social world is the image of her position in each home. To be clear: Mother, mother-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, etc.
They have their special roles and responsibilities and enjoy a different status in their respective families. All women play their roles in a relationship with each individual. Therefore, a single woman would play several roles that are relevant to the relationship with the particular person.
A mother-in-law usually occupies first place in a hierarchical family network among women and retains authority and power in the family. When I was a child, a daughter always enjoys total freedom and freedom.
A daughter-in-law, on the other hand, has less freedom and freedom, but more responsibility than the hostess. The role of the mother and mother-in-law is very different for the daughter and daughter-in-law, and vice versa.
A woman’s most important role is seen as a daughter-in-law in which she spends most of her life. It turns out that, in most cases, it is exploited by key family members, whether they are men or women of the new family.
The most interesting thing is that a daughter-in-law, who is legally the main lover of the home, will not have full power in practice immediately after marriage. On the contrary, he only has the duties and responsibilities of caring for the home and family members. She will only become the nominal lover of the home without power or reputation.
This is the most difficult time for most women in their lives, where they have no other choice at work or in their private lives. A daughter-in-law must commit herself to the interest of her in-laws to adapt to her system in the new family. It is like a rebirth and learning the expected ways of life and behavior in the new family network.
In most cases, daughters-in-law begin their socialization process in the tradition of oppression and injustice, as taught by their elders to settle for the family. Household planning and management responsibilities are also assumed by men who only leave women’s domestic work. Society did not believe that women were able to provide home improvement, whether educated or not.
But there is not so much discrimination everywhere. So far, improvements have been made in their roles. In some ethnic groups and social classes, the role of women in the economy goes beyond the domestic sphere when Thakali women are active in the hospitality and catering industry, or when trained Gurung women occupy positions in the sectors public and private, or when women leave households that work and work from the so-called occupational fund as a field worker or carrier for others.
It has been found that women in the more orthodox Hindu communities, largely limited to the production of homes and food, play a much smaller role in key budgetary decisions than in the Tibeto-Bunnan communities, where women are active in The market economy. take part. Some of the daughters and sisters of the rich family have jobs as school teachers, social workers and the like.
Both boys and girls from rich families have the opportunity to go to school. On the contrary, there are very few cases of enrollment in poor families. Due to the reading and writing skills of rich families, the tasks of the local government and the parastatal government fall into their hands.
Women are trained to be kind, submissive and obedient to adapt to the strong man and maintain harmony in the family. Therefore, women have been denied education, which should lead to conflicts between the relationship between husband and wife, as well as in the family.
In the past, it was also believed that “women who learn to read and write become witches.” This was because an educated woman could threaten patriarchy.
However, many of these reforms are being implemented in educated families. Parents have the same opportunities for higher education and high quality. However, it is not so easy to get an education because the family forces them to marry when the girls reach the age of marriage.
Women’s access to credit is limited, since all formal credit institutions seek tangible guarantees for loans and women have little access to inherited property. Women’s access to institutional credit is further restricted by the restriction of household activities.
Access to credit is important as women have little chance of finding a job in the formal labor market and women who work as paid workers receive less than men.
The participation of women in the informal sector has grown significantly in urban and rural areas; For example, vending machines, the production of small liquors and the sale of vegetables are some of the most common employment opportunities for women.
In rural areas, employment outside the home was generally limited to crops, weeds and crops. In urban areas they were used in domestic and traditional occupations, as well as in the public sector and mainly in low positions.
Ownership over Property
Fixed assets, especially housing and land, have significant importance in Nepal for prosperity, social security and power. Ownership of these assets has a greater impact on the situation of women in homes and communities. This also determines economic dependence or independence and provides the means to operate productively.
The purpose of this study is to analyze the regional pattern of women’s property of real estate and land. Relevant data were obtained from a summary of published and unpublished literature documents that includes an online database.
The study reveals that Nepal has a large gender gap in property, plant and equipment, which differs in ecological zones and individual provinces. Women’s property on land and at home is associated with 10.7 percent, while only 9.0 percent own only land.
As, compared to other ecological zones, terai shows a positively state with a female participation of 12.3 percent of households with homes and land and 10.5 percent with only land. Among the provinces, the situation in the province is the worst compared to six others. Sociocultural barriers remain a great challenge for women’s property in Nepal.
The proportion of women in fixed assets increased from 10.8 percent in 2001 (IOM, 2016) to about 20 percent in a decade. This indicates little progress. However, women are still far behind in terms of access to land. Although it is not clear, there are some reasons for this positive change.
First, the positive effects of the constitutional and legal reforms that the government has assumed on the same right to parental property for daughters and unmarried sons and the greater awareness of women. Second, a discount on land registration fees that the government grants to women.
In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards women’s land registration in rural and urban areas, as women pay low land registration fees. The third reason is the dowry that women receive land and home from their parents. A significant proportion of households (79.5 percent) in Nepal have no female assets.
They have no house or land. This indicates a weak economic condition of women and a greater dependence on male members of their family. And it is quite obvious that discrimination against women in possession of fixed assets in the country remains an outstanding phenomenon.
In Nepal, the practice of dowry remains widespread, and drug-related violence remains a problem, even though the non-toxic system was banned in Nepal. Despite the laws, there are still cases of domestic violence related to dowry, under the general perception of impunity.
The practice of dowry is closely linked to social prestige; Violence against dowry is particularly common in the Terai belt. In 2009, Nepal passed the Law of Social Practices that prohibits dowry. However, no execution cases are known.
In some communities, such as Newar, the gift system should be a gift to help the bride if she had problems in the future. The dowry would be his wealth, which he could sell or use freely if he had to found a nuclear family. Therefore, the utensils and the money he received as a dowry must be kept separate from it until the moment of adversity.
But with the growing influence of the other communities under the caste system, which is similar to the Indian caste system in India, the system has begun to change.
And over time it has become a system that really puts more pressure on the bride’s family to meet the expectations of the groom’s family. This, in turn, weakens the status of women in the family instead of the original idea of strengthening it by providing material support.
In an early marriage system, a woman must endure all these dangers at an early age throughout her life. Then he begins and ends up blaming his destiny of being a woman, as his predecessors did. Then she becomes the oppressor of her Tum, completing and turning the cycle that forms the system of a particular society.
Child marriage is widespread in Nepal. The marriage of young girls is often driven by poverty, which varies across the country according to education, wealth, geography, religion and ethnicity.
These marriages lead to pregnancy and motherhood at an early age, which often leads to health problems such as uterine prolapse. 40% of Nepalese girls are married before their 18th birthday and 7% are married before their 15th birthday. The average age for the first marriage is lower in provinces 2, 5 and 6.
According to UNICEF, Nepal has the seventeenth highest rate of marriage prevalence among children in the world and the seventeenth highest absolute number of child brides: 587,000. A 2017 World Bank study suggests that ending child marriage in Nepal could increase income and productivity by 12.7%.
In 2009, a study was conducted to examine the relationship between selected risk factors and domestic violence in married women aged 15 to 24 in Nepal. The scientists were determined to solve this cycle of corruption before it got out of control.
The study found that approximately 51.9% of these women reported experiencing some kind of violence in their lives, whether emotional, physical or otherwise.
In fact, 25.3% said they had experienced physical violence, and 46.2% said they had been victims of sexual assault. These numbers not only surprised the investigation team, but also caused a chain reaction in the investigation of domestic violence in Nepal.
According to a study conducted by BMC Women’s Health, the logistic regression analysis found that the literacy status of Nepalese women, medical care, age differences and alcohol consumption are significantly related to the experience of women with sexual coercion. in their marriage. The ProQuest Biological Science Collection also published a study that reported that 21% of Nepalese men believe they have full right to physically abuse their spouse.
In addition, it has been shown that approximately 5% of these men find justification for the use of force in order to have sex, and 3% who can legitimately commit adultery if their spouse does not wish to have sex at that time in particular. To solve the overwhelming problem of domestic violence in Nepal, one must, therefore, first deal with the convictions and cultural rituals of man.
Men in Nepal desperately believe that it is morally correct, and in some cases also bourgeois, to physically discipline their wives. To improve these women, the entire male belief system needs to be changed.
Chhaupadi or barrier due to the menstrual period
In the mostly agrarian communities of Nepal, women are expelled from their homes every month when they have their periods. Not only are women prohibited from staying in their homes during the period, but they are also prevented from entering the kitchen and touching food, religious icons, cattle and men.
There are also strict rules for water that are considered pure in Hinduism. You should not use municipal water sources (the main source of water in a village) and do not use municipal water sources for bathing or washing clothes. Many are banished to menstrual huts built by families like Bista specifically for their daughters or daughters-in-law.
Many other women are sent to neighboring barns where they sleep between cows, goats and stinking buffalo. This ancient Hindu practice is called Chhaupadi and has existed for hundreds of years in Nepal, as well as in parts of India and Bangladesh.
It is based on the belief that menstrual blood is impure. Chhaupadi is a form of seclusion associated with the deep beliefs and religious feelings of Hindus in terms of ritual purity and impurity. The social consequence of this purely impure binary archive is one of the most obvious forms of discrimination in the world. Show the girls that they are inferior and dirty.
Some of the rooms where women are sent at the age of 12 are as small as a closet and so uncomfortably tight that only one person can enter. The cabins are made of mud and straw, and in winter, when temperatures fall below freezing, small women can protect themselves from the harsh climate of the Himalayas.
The Supreme Court of Nepal banned Chhaupadi in 2005 and described it as a violation of human rights, but it has continued to function. The Supreme Court of Nepal banned Chhaupadi in 2005 and described it as a violation of human rights, but it has continued to function.
Not only in the central and western regions of Nepal, but in various ways throughout the country, where fears of the consequences of breaking menstrual fangs are firmly under control.
In urban settings where it is not possible to build a separate structure, most families rent an additional room where the woman can sleep every month. In 2017, the Nepalese government was forced to act after the women who practiced Chhaupadi died on everyone’s lips.
In just 10 months, three girls died in the barn, including a snake bite and a smoke inhalation, desperately trying to keep warm in the cold winter. The deaths shed light on the dangers of practice, which exposes women not only to the risk of death, but also to the risk of violence, rape and a variety of health problems, including pneumonia.
In addition, Chhaupadi, which prohibits women in some communities up to 10 days after the birth of their homes, increases the risk of death for babies and mothers. A few years ago, a mother left her newborn alone in a shed for a few minutes and a jackal snatched her baby.
The Nepalese parliament criminalized Chhaupadi in August 2017 in a law passed unanimously. “A woman should not be kept in Chhaupadi during her period or after childbirth, nor should she be treated with similar discrimination or inviolable and inhuman behavior,” says the law.
Writer: Sudip Babu Dhakal