Equity, not compassion

Whereas all the demonstrations and strikes so far demanding

the benefits, promotions or compensation packages had the sole purpose of fulfillment of the individual or group interest, the recent movement of single women is unique and historical. We are proud of the venerable movement of our audacious single women, not demanding, rather refusing the benefit package that was brought forward in the name of protection of their rights.

These are the women of the country where the birth of a baby girl does not bring happiness and celebration at home. We all are aware of the multifaceted efforts being made to implement equal pay for equal work; however, a woman continues to get paid much less than her male counterpart. Her experience of discrimination and victimization initiates right from the fetus stage and persists throughout her life.

A woman struggles in her childhood and adulthood against harsh discriminations. This power of tolerance and forgiveness of the Nepali women was taken as a symbol of weakness and helplessness by the society and the government. They failed to understand that these women do not hesitate to revolt when deemed necessary. The promotion of marriage of the single woman by the government is a reflection of their mentality that women can not live a respectable life without male protection. Otherwise, why would the government’s decision be focused towards providing the so-called protection to those who are willing to get married and not the entire population? What kind of support and protection do those single women who do not want to get married get from this package? This movement has provided a clear perspective that self-respect and dignity are the most important in women’s lives, and they can live their life with their independent identity. I would like to congratulate all the single women for their successful movement; that forced the government to step back.

Through this movement the Nepali women, who are being criticized

for being dependent on their

male counterparts for financial

assistance and social identity, have proved that they can stand alone,

provided there exists a equitable legal and social framework. They have repeatedly said: “What we need is equity, not compassion.”