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In the Name of Tradition

Since the childhood, girls in my community are taught to learn the household chores to be a perfect “home makers,” “caring sisters/daughters,” “dutiful and loyal wives,” “loving mothers,” and “subservient.” Ever since I was 12 years old, I have observed the continue discrimination of women in my community. Both deliberately and unintentionally, I tried several time to stand up for me and my sisters. I was not just standing up in a family or a mass, but was emphasizing the need of women to be including in the decision making level in a family and further in a community.

I saw only a few certain men gathered and discussed about the development of our community. I asked my father and neighbors why only certain men? Why not women? Why women are fully ignored from the group? My neighbors were upset and I was told that I was not “matured” enough to understand the whole scenario and better keep quite. It means I was asked to shut down my mouth just because I am a woman. Some of my neighbors even call me the problem maker who will for sure attack the dignity of my family and pour our family prestige in the dustbin because they believed that a woman ruled house is sure to be destroyed .

At that point I felt disheartened and being knocked down. I didn’t know why people should be disappointed with me simply because I was questioning what I have seen in my community since I was borne. I didn’t even know who these men were, except than they were my neighbors. I was curious and wanted to know what going on in my community. Why women were not recognized as an independent citizen in our community? Later, I knew that they were so-called “educated and well known people” from our communities, who always decide for the development of my community and what to be done and what not to be done by women. Equally, common people including women from our community hold the traditional belief that women are always shortsighted. They cannot either provide a right decision or qualify to work for the development of our community.

The discrimination of women continues throughout their lives till death because of deep rooted gender discriminatory value system. Still there are some derogatory attitudes towards women, resulting from illiteracy or in the name of preserving traditional values.

Comments

Dando's picture

You are a courageous

woman. I feel for your community and by women like you change is coming!

thanks for telling the story and speaking for the fearless women!

sunita.basnet's picture

Thank you Sweatheart

Hey Dando,

Long time no see. What have you been upto in your life dear? Thank you so much for giving me inspiration. You are such an inspiring friend. Together we can. I know you are also a courageous and strong leader from your community. I saluate for that..

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

JaniceW's picture

Participatory Learning

Sunita.... there is a technique that NGOs use to help communities bring their members together to participate in the solutions that shape their lives. It is called Participatory Learning and Action. You might like to read up on it and see if you cannot bring this idea to your village to test it as a model for other villages in the Morang district.

You can download information about the approach at the following links. The first link describes the Participatory Learning work in Nepal of German organization, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), which supports communities in developing countries in shaping their own futures and improving their living conditions. The other two links describe how Participatory Learning works.

http://www.gtz.de/de/dokumente/gtz2010-en-breaking-barriers-nepal.pdf

http://idp-key-resources.org/documents/0000/d04267/000.pdf

http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=uu-BPsudVogC&oi=fnd&pg=PP14&d...

Suva Laav. Hardik subhakamana,
Didi

zoneziwoh's picture

Re: participatory Learning

Dear Sunita. Your story is touching. I can imagine how your community would always think you love making problem. I feel sad about that. But keep up the fight dear sister. You are impacting change, and I am convinced in some years to come, you will flash back and will be amazed at what you have done.
Keep up Sunita

Hi Janice, This is beautiful. I have just downloaded the docu you shared with Sunita. I have hear a lot about participatory leadership and I look forward to reading through the content. Many thanks for sharing it with us here on pulsewire

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

facebook: Zoneziwoh

twitter: @ZoFem

sunita.basnet's picture

Love you sister

Dear Sister,

I am in love reading your comments. Sometimes it makes me think while other time, it inspires me to do more. You are a great inspiration to me sister.

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

sunita.basnet's picture

Thank you

Dearest Janice,

Thank you so much for your information and sharing all of these documents with me and the entire family. The document is also useful for my thesis. Thanks again.

This model seems interesting and yeah I think we can apply this inour community but hte only problem is I have to be back. I can't do before 2012. I have to wait but yeah thanks alot sister.

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Hi Sunita Di,

Thank you very much for sharing your story. There is no difference between the picture of your community and my community. You have become an example to the women of your community who will follow your paths to change the status of women in a male dominated society. Go ahead Di! Good luck for you!

Love,
Jyoti

Jyoti Rahaman

sunita.basnet's picture

Thank You

Hello Jyoti,

Nice to hear from you after a long time. How is your school going on dear? Yeah, totally agree with you that there is no difference between Nepal and Bangladesh in terms of violence against women. Eve teasing is also a serious case in Bangladesh, isn't it? Thank you so much for your wonderful wishes.

Best regards
Sunita

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

sibusisiweyona's picture

you are not the problem

my sister, traditions have come and they have gone. it only takes one voice to start the change. One day your voice will be remembered, your words will be cherished, your wisdom will be appreciated. don't be afraid to stand up for the truth cause one day it will set a lot of women free

regards

Sibusisiwe

sunita.basnet's picture

Thank you, sister

Dear Sister,

Thank you so much for your inspiring word. I cannot wait for that day, when everyone will be in equal footing with equal dignity and rights.

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Jan K Askin's picture

Small Steps

Dear Sunita,

Changing entrenched traditions and cultural attitudes towards gender roles is difficult and requires persistence and sometimes takes generations.

Know that you are taking important steps in speaking out. You are moving your community forward though it may seem slow.

Keep courage,

Your sister,
Jan

Jan Askin

sunita.basnet's picture

Re: Small Step

Dear Jan,

Yeah I agree with you sometimes changing the practices which has been nurtured hundred and hundred years long is very difficult and might takes longer than we expect. But that is a change we are expecting!! A change for us and our next generation!! Together we can make a difference.

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Myrthe's picture

Change starts with one

Change starts with one person. Your speaking out may seem like a small thing, but it is the first step. Keep fighting!

sunita.basnet's picture

Re: Change Start with one

Dear Sister,

Thank you so much for your inspiration! your inspiration will never let me loose my hope.

Thank you

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Frances Faulkner's picture

Knowing

Sunita,
you have known since you were twelve that you needed to ask questions, to understand, and to make sense of the world. Many people never have that clarity or if they do, they are pushed down by fear and tradition. Your will to make change and fight for the women around you is a really amazing and beautiful thing. You have a life's work of teaching and leading, inspiring and questioning in front of you. Keep it up!

Thank you for taking a lead,
Frances

sunita.basnet's picture

Re: Knowing

Dear Frances,

Thank you so much for your inspiring, fantastic word. I should also acknowledge all of you, who knowing and unknowing stand up at any time. Now you are standing to support me and inspire me. Its just we forget or do not realize.
you are always welcome. I hope to hear more from you in the future. You may like to visit my blog as well. http://sunitabasnet.blogspot.com

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

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