Dearest mentors, midwives, world pulse administrators, fellows and correspondents, Namaskar, Please have a look and provide your valuable comments in my draft OP-ED. I cannot wait to hear from all of you. Your comments are highly needed. Thank you so much. With love and regards Sunita Basnet. First Draft of OPED Journal
Ms. Sapana Pradhan-Malla, a practicing Lawyer Supreme Court of Nepal and president-forum for Women, Law and Development, Nepal says in a conference that Nepal is the most populated country where maternal death is the highest in the world. Moreover she says that it’s “a country where various forms of violence against women are taking place.”
Social System a main barrier to bring equality
In another word, Nepal is a patriarchal country from centuries. Especially, in rural areas, women are bounded in house. Parents think that sending their daughters to school is worthless because whenever daughters are ready to earn, they got married and support their in-laws family instead of their parents. So, although parents have money they hesitate to send their daughter for higher studies. As a result, many talented young ladies dropped out after their secondary level education. FAO reported that “The literacy rate among females aged 10-14 years (49.3%) is nearly 14 times higher than that among women aged 55 years and over (3.6%).” Finally, they get married in their early ages and become mothers. On the other hand, parents’ thought that sending their sons for higher education is worthy because when they become old their son looks and cares after them. They even thought that son will light the pyre after their death although there is no written law that only son has to light the pyre.
What to expect from immature mother? The women are unaware of caring their children and family due to lack of education. It brings negative consequences resulting death to mothers and children. UNICEF (2007) reported that in Nepal above 50,000 children are suffering from malnutrition and more than 60% of these are death. Moreover, when women aren’t educated, they cannot go to work and support their children and family. Who will give work to unqualified women? Similarly, all the parents’ property belongs to son inherently, and daughters are ignored. Not only as daughters but also as wives, rural Nepalese women are ignored in economical power. WelNepal, a local organization that works to promote women’s right in property, reported that 90% of Nepalese live in rural areas for agricultural purpose where 90% are women who depend on agriculture but sadly only 10% of the total Nepalese women have their own land. There are laws that allow equal access to the property for both men and female but the implementation is worst. So, who will help the women to empower?
Furthermore, some Nepalese, who are already in the position, might take the advantage of these ignored and voiceless women by forming various political parties in the name of “women’s empowerment. They might use the women against the government to accomplish their goal but ignore them when they are in the power. Unfortunately, Nepalese women lack economical power and have no choice to raise their voice instead of following other dominated political parties. Indeed, the discrimination would increase rather than having equality in the country, and it would remain forever. Unless women are economically powerful, gender equality is impossible not only in Nepal but also in every corner of the world. Everyone have to work on it, because it will increase the poverty. This social structure isn’t going to change in a year because it has been love and care from the centuries.
Equality is possible but how?
It is said that especially in Nepal, men are powerful and they can shape the world as their wish. Although, it has been said, but do they really want to? What will happen if we put all the men in the shoes of women? What will happen if men are bound inside house? What will happen if the controlling power over men is in the hand of women? Whatever can be the result, we want to make men realize the situation of women and bring the equality. We need to do the campaign. May be the men will provide some freedom to women. May be the situation will remains the same?
This article is part of a writing assignment for Voices of Our Future, which is providing rigorous web 2.0 and new media training for 31 emerging women leaders. We are speaking out for social change from some of the most forgotten corners of the world. Meet Us.