Women in Nepal still struggling

KATHMANDU: Nepal is marking 100th International Women’s Day tomorrow at a time when women are struggling to stand with men on equal footing and for equal opportunity and rights. The Day has been marked since the early 1900’s. More than hundred years down the road, the patriarchal society’s perceptions of women and their attitude in Nepal are hard to be mended. Nevertheless, women rights activists are stressing that if women were provided an opportunity to play role models in every range and sector of the state, such as through government leadership, their equality and all-round development was possible.

Every year, International Women’s Day is marked on March 8 in memory of the battle that they had fought to build a society based on diversity, tolerance, safety, social justice and equality. This year the day is going to be marked with the theme ‘Equal rights, equal opportunity: progress for all’.

“Women at present are fighting for their equal identity, equal access and equal representation,” said Puspa Bhusal, Constituent Assembly (CA) member, adding that they are working for ending every type of discrimination against women in the society.

“The country is in the process of drafting the new constitution. We want to be assured that there should not be a single discriminatory provision against women,” said the CA member.

Talking to The Himalayan Times, she said the state should introduce ‘special package’ for the overall development of women. She further stressed for identifying the role of women in the economic sector and said that without their economic well-being the standard of women life could not be raised.

“The state should provide equal opportunity for education, employment and health to every woman,” said the CA member.

Meera Dhungana, an advocate, viewed that the state should provide reservation to women for sometime until they are able to break the barrier that divides them from their male counterparts.

“Women right activists should make common strategy at present to achieve rights for women,” said the advocate, adding that the women should have rights over citizenship, land and property. Dhungana said that the government should allocate certain percentage of quota for women in every state organ.

Anuradha Koirala, social worker, opined that the roots of the problems marginalising women could be attacked at the grass-roots level.