Women brave it

The 100th International Women’s Day 2010 (IWD-2010) is being celebrated worldwide today with the slogan “Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all”. The slogan brings to mind the

stark reality that women face inequity on all fronts, particularly in the developing world. Though the developed countries have a better track record, the women there have not achieved what is their right. For this reason, the campaign continues till the issue of parity of women receives the logical conclusion. This is evidently tougher in the developing countries which still have remnants of conservatism entrenched in the social makeup. Yet, changes are

taking place in true sense with the concept of the global village seemingly making its intrusion. No country in the present day can remain isolated from the global mainstream. So, it equate itself with the status of women. The whole focus of marking IWD over the decades has been the empowerment of women in every sector that can be visualized. It has to be acknowledged that marked changes have been the rule of the day than exceptions. It is more a celebration of the achievements made by women, with more to come in the days ahead.

Nepal’s entry as such into the equal rights for women scene has been very recent. With the

patriarchal society having been the traditional one, it has not been a very easy task to dislodge the male grip. But, realization that it is women who can change the society for the better, as evidences already point out based on women’s success stories, is more etched in the minds of the people now than ever before. Of course, it has not been a smooth ride all through for women being empowered. It is, however, true that wherever the women have been able to climb onto the decision-making stage, the results have always proved their capacity to lead the society in the right direction. But, the journey still continues for equity for women to be established. The positive changes in women’s participation in income-generating activities, decision-making capacity and the like are taking place albeit

gradually. When it concerns the Nepali women,

they are slowly emerging from the shadows of their male counterparts to prove themselves. They have strongly projected themselves to be able to work shoulder to shoulder with men, besides making invaluable contributions in raising the children and maintaining the family.

With half the country’s population being women, great onus falls on them for whatever the society achieves. That clearly mandates itself for women

receiving every right and privilege that the men take for granted. The country has seen a grand entry into the republican fold with women representation being one-third in the total elected representatives. Of course, it falls short of the representation by

population. No doubt, there have been achievements for the women but not the full way. The crux of the whole issue is that the women themselves have to make their presence felt and override any hurdles that their male counterparts may raise along the road to all-round equality for their empowerment.

It’s potatoes

A fair solely for potatoes held recently was more than smashing. Organized in Hemja of Kaski district by farmers, deals were made on potatoes to the tune of an impressive Rs. 30 lakhs

during the occasion. The farmers have suffered enough as they often do not have easy access to the market. The middlemen are then able to reap in benefits. The fair showcased varieties of potato dishes that were instant hits as were the stalls exhibiting various types of potatoes grown there. Incidentally, farmers in Hemja use the bare minimum of insecticides in growing potatoes and that is why potatoes from here are much in demand.

Potato production here is over half that of the total potatoes grown in the district. This fair was held in tandem with the opening of the road that would enable the farmers from here and neighboring areas to reach the market with relative ease. But, despite all this what should be taken up is that there is still a deficit of potatoes in Kaski, and the district has to import them from other districts. In any case, this fair has served has a growing incentive to farmers apart from the fun they must have had.