Breaking with age-old tradition, the women of far-western region have started ploughing the fields of late. Traditionally, women were not allowed to plough the fields owing to a superstitious belief that such an act would invite disasters like famine and drought.
“My daughter Sushma broke with the tradition and set an example in the district by ploughing the fields,” said Dhanjit Thapa of Martadi. Sushma said she had ploughed the fields although the villagers opposed it and asked her not to break with tradition. “Initially, even my mother was angry at me,” she added.
Sushma’s mother Birma said no disaster had struck the village after her daughter ploughed the fields. Similarly, Dhana BK of Martadi has also begun ploughing the fields. “The villagers did not allow the women to plough the fields thinking it would bring them bad luck, but no untoward incident has taken place so far,” said Dhana.
Satya Raj Joshi, a local priest, said it is believed that famine and drought occur if women are allowed to plough the fields. “However, it is just a superstition,” he added. According to women rights activist Rukha Mani Sha, the women of Bajura no longer hold superstitious beliefs.
Earlier, women were prohibited from visiting public places, attending funeral procession, performing last rites and cremating their parents during menstruation.
However, the local women are now breaking with such tradition.
A version of this article appears in print on November 02, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.