Women’s condition in Nepal is even worse compared to their average situation in the world. Despite positive and improving reports in the situation, there is a long way to go to really make them feel that they are not exploited and discriminated. The female literacy rate of Nepal is about 35 percent, according to recent report, compared to male literacy rate of 63 percent.
This vast difference exists not only in educational sector but also in almost each sector. The education is the foundation of awareness and further development.When they are barred from education, there is chance of discriminations being unreported forcing women to be quiet. The women in Nepal are exploited in many aspects. Sexual abuse and girl trafficking still persists which demands adoption of immediate measures to prevent the situation from being more worsened. Most of the victims of human trafficking in Nepal are girls who end up in the brothel of Indian cities. The female victims of domestic violence are kept secret with the fear of losing social reputation specially to be prevented form possible refusal from their male counterparts and there no clear law to deal with the situation.
In the remote villages of Nepal, women take care almost everything from bringing up children, manage food, taking care of cattle, collecting fodder and firewood to working in the fields. Despite their significant contribution in the family and society, they are mistreated and blamed for minor mistakes. The situation of Nepalese women seems to be improving in cities but the scene in the remote villages and hinterland is not changing at all. They are the victim of religion, culture and their male ‘guardians’.The Chaupadi system in western hill region of Nepal is yet to be rooted out, the Kamlari system in West Terai is still allowing to sell innocent teenage girls to unknown masters. The Muslim society of the country is still not awaken up to send all of their daughters in school, the drunken husband has not stopped beating his wife without any reason and Dalit women are still treated as second class citizen by so called upper classes. These are only some examples of current situation of women in Nepal.
The worldwide condition of the women is not better either.No matter where, the half of the world population should be addressed in each and every aspect of the life. The mere participation can not be much effective for the overall development of the society. Women’s problems are effectively dealt only by women themselves. Keeping them out of the social and political activities may cause social dilemma in the nation. The vivid example of relation between empowerment of women and social and economical development can be seen in many developed European countries.Sweden, which is known as a country with the best condition of women in the world is one of the most developed country in the world as well.
Though in those developed countries too, the situation of women is not better than those of male, they are doing their best to keep the balance and further improve the situation. Thus the messages from those developed countries is ‘Empowering female means development of the nation’. The female participation in social, economical and political activities in the country like Nepal is vitally important. Women’s legal rights and participation in civil society are limited across the country.Nepal is moderately religious country with vast numbers of ethnic groups, though it has been declared as a secular state after king was striped of his power by reinstated parliament in 2006. Though it used to be Hindu kingdom, there were no religion-related fanaticisms in the country. Nepalese are also relatively less repulsive to change.
Hence, improving the women situation in Nepal is comparatively easier than many other countries in the world. Women are contributing more than 50 percent of the agricultural jobs which is considered as a backbone of Nepal’s economy (Agriculture contributes Nepal’s total GDP by 40 percent).They are the first teachers of their kids who are the source of future development of the country. Active participation of women in social, political and political arena means educated kids, improved health situation slipped human trafficking, declining HIV/AIDS infection rate and many other in current Nepal’s social scenario. They can make much difference in the outlook of our current society. They must be encouraged and given opportunity to walk parallel with their male counterparts. Even though some important laws are still missing, there are substantial laws n the nation to guarantee the right of women.
Many laws are being modified to address the real need of the change and to follow up the international regulations but the situation is not getting much better. The law is only the way, we are the walker and if we do not walk our talk, the situation of women may never change and so will do the nation’s situation. Women on the other hand should be aware of their situation act on their own. Many organizations working in the field should be able to extend their approach to the villages of remote areas.Political parties are advocating their commitment on equal participation of women in all fields but it has not been seen in the practice. Political leadership is still largely occupied by men essentially leading unequal equal participation in policy making level. So, it has to be done from the very base level.
Lack of education is root cause of the situation. Female education has been shown to have a dramatic impact on women’s earning power and on families’ welfare but progress toward gender equality in education still lags behind to those of boys.Education for all should be guaranteed by the government which will certainly help to eliminate not only women discrimination but also other discriminations (ethnic, regional, religious etc. ) across the country. Once the literacy rate rises, so does the female participation in many areas. To empower women, it has to be done by act not by words. The empowerment of the women will be one big step forward to overall development of the nation.
As Nepal has already been entered into a new age of change, equality between male and female should be one of the top most priorities for policy makers.