Kathmandu, December 1
Most women in the country are compelled to work at home as ‘homemakers’ from dawn to dusk. But unfortunately, their work is hardly valued as income generating work and often they do not get the respect they deserve for what they do at home.
Chandika Nepal, 40, from Kavre is a teacher at a local primary school. She has to prepare meal, take care of family members, work in the fields and keep her home neat and clean. She wakes up at 4:00am, begins her daily duty with cleaning home, then she cleans dishes, feeds her children and looks after livestock.
“My school is at one hour’s walking distance and there is no transportation facility. I have to walk a long way to reach school so I need to finish my household chores as fast as possible,” shared Nepal.
She thinks that being a daughter-in-law household chores are her responsibility. Her husband is a government employee and he gets respect in society. However, she does not get much respect in the village as a teacher and the work she does at home is not even recognised as work by her own family members and society, according to Nepal.
Unlike her, Kushma Raut, 50, from Sarlahi shares that her community never allowed women to go outside for job. “Our work is not taken as economic activity at all and those women who work outside home are often looked down upon by society.
People even question the character of such women who prefer to work at offices and other places,” said Raut, adding many women in her locality worked for more than 14 hours at home yet their work was never recognised.
According to the Nepal Living Standard Survey, 2010-11, cleaning, servicing and repairs of household durables or other goods, preparing and serving meals, training and instructing children and elderly people, and taking care sick, infant and the elderly, among other things, do not fall under economic activities.
“Only fetching water and collecting firewood have been regarded as economic activities,” said Anraj Tiwari, section officer at Central Bureau of Statistics. As per the census data of 2068, 7.5 per cent are female and 5.7 per cent male are engaged in collecting firewood and fetching water.
“More women should be involved in economic activities,” said Mina Acharya, a senior economist.
A version of this article appears in print on December 02, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.