Nepal is a developing country. In this context, this outbreak of corona virus (COVID-19) infection as a global pandemic is a very great challenge to a country like Nepal. In order to prevent the spread of corona virus, our government has decided a lock down throughout the country. This lock down has already made a huge difference in the situation of Nepal. This has affected different types of woman differently.
In Nepal, most of the families have moved from villages to the capital city for better opportunities of job, education, and other urban facilities. And now, after the global outbreak of this virus, some families have again moved back to the village. In our society, generally woman is the one who does all kinds of household works in the home and there is very less involvement of male members. So, after the families move to the village, there are relatively more members to take care of. So, a woman has to take care of more people like mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law and other members of in-laws including her husband and children. So, her responsibilities overload, and this might make her feel kind of dominated.
Whereas some families are still living in the city areas. In the city too, there are mostly, two types of families: one where both spouses are working and make a good income. In this family, since both are locked now, we can expect that, husbands help their wives with the household works. But in the other family type, where husband is working and wife is housewife, we don’t expect the husbands to help their wives because doing the household works is considered as routine work of wives. In this type of family, usually the wife is uneducated or less educated. So, husbands are dominant, and, in some cases, they involve in violent activities like: sexual harassment, domestic violence, etc. And this might increase with this lock down because, the husband develops kind of mental stress because of the outbreak or because of being limited within home and might get it off to his wife.
So, we can say that, in case of married woman, based on their type of family, some wives might be dominated, some might be encouraged, and some might be even harassed. But in case of unmarried girls, we can expect that, no distinct changes are seen because they are under the cover of their mothers. This can make a big impact on their social status.
On the other hand, the offices have been closed. So, for working woman, it’s a bit difficult because they have lost their income for this time and this can lead to the loss of confidence, too and might make the male members more dominant. So, they might get both socially and economically weak.
Moreover, if this lock down continues for a long time, the country might be in a great trouble. The production and export of things has stopped at this time, yet, the mouths to be fed are still the same. So, there might be the cases of hunger or poverty, too. If this happens, the socio-economic status of women might drop rapidly. But simultaneously, the production has to be increased to a very great extent. So, maybe even female members of the family get out of their houses and get involved in works which unconsciously might lead to boost their social and economic status as they become aware.
Hence, this global outbreak can make a very big and unpredictable change in the status of women not only in Nepal but also in a global scale. So, women should be aware of this and stay confident about themselves. Hope this pandemic stops very soon!