Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, March 18:

Women are increasingly opting for assuming unconventional roles, as a challange to balance their fieldwork and household chores. The capital is witness to a growing number of women in various services taking up even physically difficult roles. Ganga Laxmi Shrestha hails from Sindhupalchowk, and is determined to excel at driving. She met with an accident at Chunnidevi on the very second day of her driving lessons. Her licence was also confiscated for a month. A proud possessor of eight months’ experience of driving a tempo from Sundhara to Naxal and back daily, she said this job has enabled her to shoulder the burden of keeping her daughter and a sister afloat. Uma Basnet works as a security guard from Group 4 Falck. In her two years in this line, she has been dressing up like her male collegues, and her responsiblities are no different from theirs. Armed with a metal detector, she scans every entrant at the gate Laxmi Bank at Kamaladi. Uma said, “I find this a very good job opportunity, as I was driven by my interest. I take it as a challenge to balance my homefront and my job.”

Sita Baral, (name changed) a policewoman with Kathmandu Metropolitian City (KMC) has the responsiblity of keeping the streets clear of vendors. She has been on the job three years running. She said, “We are no less than men, in fact, we are more. We have to balance family responsibilities with the job.” Women activists consider this trend of women taking up unconventional jobs as a very positive sign. Shanta Thapaliya, president of Legal Aid and Consultancy Centre (LACC) said, “Women are proving their capability to play any kind of role, be it at the intellectual, manual or skilled worker level.” Thapaliya added that though women are physiogically different from men, they are capable of undertaking all kind of jobs, and so, society should take women seriously.