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If The Controlling Power is in the Hand of Nepalese Women?

According to Ms. Sapana Pradhan-Malla, a practicing Lawyer of the Supreme Court of Nepal and president of the Forum for Women, Law and Development, Nepal has the highest maternal death rate in the world among densely populated countries. Moreover, she states that it’s “a country where various forms of violence against women are taking place.”

The continuous cycle reinforces the current status of Nepalese Women.

The Social System of Nepal is a main barrier to bring equality. In another word, Nepal has been a patriarchal country from centuries. Especially, in rural Nepal, women are bounded in the house. Parents think that sending their daughters to school is worthless because whenever daughters are ready to earn, they got married and support their in-laws family. So, although parents have money they hesitate to send their daughter for higher studies. As a result, many talented young ladies drop out after their secondary level education. FAO reported that “The literacy rate among females aged 10-14 years (49.3%) is nearly 14 times higher than that among women aged 55 years and over (3.6%).” Finally, Girls have a social role to live out as mothers to their own children and as daughters to their husband’s families. It encourages women to marry at a young age because their families do not invest in their education, a lack of education leads them to be less employable and therefore economically dependent on their husbands / families.

Contrasting, parents’ think that sending their sons for higher education is worthy because when they become old their sons cares after them. They even think that sons will light the pyre after their death although there is no written law that only sons have to light the pyre. There is an impact of immature mothers raising children. The women are unaware of how best to care for their children and family due to lack of education. It brings negative consequences which often result in death to mothers and children. UNICEF (2007) reported that in Nepal over 50,000 children are suffering from malnutrition and more than 60% of these result in death. Who will give work to unqualified women? They aren’t educated. How will they support their family?

Similarly, the parents’ property belongs to the sons inherently, and daughters are ignored. As wives, rural Nepalese women are ignored in economical power. WelNepal, a local organization that works to promote women’s rights in property, reported that 90% of Nepalese live in rural areas for agricultural purposes. Where 90% are women who depend on agriculture as a living, sadly, only 10% of the total Nepalese women have their own land. There are laws that allow equal access to the property for both men and women but implementation of these laws is almost nonexistent. Who will help the women to empower?

Furthermore, some dominate Nepalese might take the advantage of these ignored/voiceless women by forming various political parties in the name of “women’s empowerment.” They might use the women against the government to accomplish their goal but ignore them when they are in the power. Unfortunately, Nepalese women lack economical power and follow other dominated political parties. Without economic independence, they are trapped in the overall system. Unless women are economically powerful, gender equality is impossible not only in Nepal but also in every corner of the world. Everyone has to work on it, because, it will decrease the poverty. This social structure isn’t going to change in a year because it has been loved and cared from centuries.

Equality is possible but how?
It is said that especially in Nepal, men are powerful and they can shape the world as they wish. Although, it has been said, but do they really want to? What will happen if all the men stand in the shoes of women? What will happen if men are bound inside house and the controlling power over men is in the hand of women? Imagine men cooking food, washing clothes and caring their children whereas women working outside of house and keeping records of their husbands. Then men will realize the situation in a week. We also need to do the campaign. I feel this will make a drastic change.

# Photo reference:
Available from : http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTECAREGTOPGENDER/Images/GenderEqual...

This article is part of a writing assignment for Voices of Our Future, which is providing rigorous web 2.0 and new media training for 31 emerging women leaders. We are speaking out for social change from some of the most forgotten corners of the world. Meet Us.

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Comments

Jennifer Ruwart's picture

Sunita, I relate to what you

Sunita,

I relate to what you are saying in your op-ed, but there is something that I desire. I think it's more punch in your first two paragraphs. I know Gretchen is working on feedback to you, so I'll wait to say more. This is well on its way to being great!

Love,
Jennifer

Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

Dear Jennifer,
Namaskar,
I am well and hope you too. Your name makes me smile without reading what actually your comment is because I have got a comment from you after a long time. Thank you so much for your efforts and valuable time. Jennifer, would you mind making me clear about your comment especially the sentence “I think its more punch in your first two paragraphs.” Is that I put more information in my first and second paragraph. It’s just my guess. Can you please help me by explaining this? I am weak in my vocabulary and grammar, but I am trying my best to improve my writing. I will look in my first and second paragraph.
I do agree with you, Gretchen is working with me for my feedback and I have changed little bit about it. My mentor is also working with me. We have a Skype chatting every Friday after I return back from Nepal.
Love you
Sunita

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Jennifer Ruwart's picture

Oops!

Well, I don't think it's your English as much as it was mine! That was a poorly constructed sentence. Ignore my comment and continue to work with your mentor and Gretchen. I am as new to op-eds you are! :-)

Big hugs to you. Great work, Sunita!

Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

sunita.basnet's picture

I understand

Dear Jennifer,

How are you? I am getting better after treatment. I was hospitalized for four days because of flu and from today I join my class.
Thank you again. Now I understand what you mean. Please keep commenting..

With love
Sunita

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Greta's picture

Dearest Sunita..

Hello Again,

Reading the comment exchange between you and Jennifer I hope that you did see my comments that I sent some time ago. I too have been un-well and was out of the loop for a while. I am glad to see that you are feeling better.

I have been spending the afternoon revisiting the op-ed pieces and I am amazed by all of them. I think you too did great! You covered quite a bit of territory in terms of various issues facing women in Nepal. What I took away from the piece most strongly is that all of the issues you address are interwoven in terms of the impact on women. Everything you bring to light is interconnected and all must be addressed! Women, young and old, facing so many challenges. How can they create a valuable life for the themselves, the lives of their family, and the fabric of the society they live in with all of these circumstances to overcome? Your conclusion regarding letting men walk a mile in a women's shoes does beg for an answer, as I am certain the world would be a much different place if that happened for even one day.

I am proud of you and look forward to our next exchange with great anticipation,

In Kindness,

Gretchen

sunita.basnet's picture

I am sorry I am late

Dearest Gretchen,
Namaskar,

I apologize for sending this late response. Thank you so much again for your effort to make to comment in my post. I am looking forward to hear from you.in my next post too.

I have tried my best to include all issues that women are facing in Nepal.

Thank you
With regards
Sunita Basnet

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

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