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Barrier for Women Development

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An Essay on: Barrier for Women Development in Nepal
Nepal's total population is 26,494,504. Out of this 51.5 percent is Women. In Nepal, like other developing countries, the state of women is not satisfactory. In Nepal, patriarchal society and system provide very little scope for the female to assert their identity. According to the census of 2011, 75.1% male are literate whereas only 57.4% female are literate. Female are marginalized from economic and social opportunities due to illiteracy, poverty and conservative social taboos. The present status of women is said to be strong than the past but it is only limited to raise voice about female’s issue and problem of practical life. The status of women is the same as it used to be in the past.
Government of Nepal has provided 33% reservation facility and other many opportunities for the women development, but real backward women are not able to utilize that facilities. Traditional ethical code of the society expects women to remain restricted within four walls of home, which is still a common occurrence. In some of the countries of South Asia women are outlawed even to cast votes. In South Asian region, women are discriminated, because of son preference traditions of the society dominated by religious beliefs. Daughters are discriminated from birth to funeral ceremony. Women are also suffering from domestic violence, wrong tradition and cultural malpractices. Some awful examples of violence are: sex selective abortion, wife battering, child marriage, polygamy, rape, sexual violence, trafficking of women and forced prostitution, sexual harassment, dowry, Tilak system, suicide, killings and domestic violence still prevailed. Nepal being the country very poor are due to lack of awareness and access to quality education. As a result, people have superstitious beliefs, there is gender discrimination and political leaders have decreased political vision. The socio-economic status of women in Nepal is very poor. The women are being discriminated in every aspects of the society. These and so many others factors have contributed to turn Nepal a lower human development state. Nepal is a country of great geographic, cultural, ethnic, religious diversity. Across the diversity, the majority of communities in Nepal are patriarchal. A woman’s life is strongly influenced by her father, husband and son. Such patriarchal practices are further reinforced by the legal system. Marriage has a great importance in women’s life. The event of marriage determines the way of her life. The early marriage generally depreciates the woman’s life. A woman’s power to accept or reject marriage partner is evidently an index of the degree of freedom she exercises in the management of her own life and thus also of her status. The status of women is determined by the patriarchal social system, values and women’s right preserved and protected by the state policy for the development of women.
Empirical data have proved that situation of Nepalese women is too severe to compare with men. Woman’s situation is very poor in health, education, participation, income generation, self-confidence, decision-making, access to policy making and human rights. The insurgency for more than 10 years between the state and the rebel has further widened this gap. The health status of Nepal’s people is one of the lowest in the South Asian region and this is particularly true for females. Nepal is one of the countries of the world where life expectancy for women is lower than that of men. One fifth of women get married in the early age of 15-19. As a result of their premature pregnancy, the deaths of women have been occurring in a very. High birth rates, low life expectancy, high infant and maternal mortality rates and high death rate indicate the poor health status of women.
National statistics shows that women’s literacy rate is 30% while 66% to male and the national literacy rate is projected as 40 percent. The enrolment of women in higher education is only 24.95%. Women involvement in technical and vocational education is also lower than men. This is due to the social norms and culture that we follow also. As in rural areas girls are considered as “parayadhan” (others property) and they don’t get the opportunity to get education.
A large part of women’s work is not considered as economic activity. As a result only 45.2% of women as compared to 68.2% of men are classified as economically active. Women’s average work burden has increased slightly over the past 12 years from 10.8 hours per day in 1981 to 10.9 hours per day in 1995. Men’s average work burden presently is 7.8 hours a day, 3.1 hours less than that of women. Women’s participation in the informal sector has increased significantly in both urban and rural areas – for example vending, water fetching, petty trade liquor making and vegetable selling some of the more common employment ventures of women. In rural areas, the employment outside the household generally was limited to planting, weeding and harvesting. In urban areas, they were employed in domestic and traditional jobs, as well as in the government sector and mostly in low-level positions. Women has faced with a lack of services and infrastructure, rural women carry a great part of the burden of providing water and fuel for their households. In rural areas of Nepal, for example, women spend more than twice as much time fetching wood and water per week than men, while in they spend over eight times more than men on the same tasks. Girls in rural Malawi also spend over three times more time than boys fetching wood and water. Collectively, women from Sub-Saharan Africa spend about 40 billion hours a year collecting water.…...

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