Saturday, 26 July 2014

Changing Image of Women

Women from  both urban and rural society are fed up of their stereotyped role of engaging them only in household work. As it never gives them recognition or even a thanking word, they are trying to come out of their cocoon. The Nepali women's vital role to tie up a family is often undermined and the housewives are considered  unproductive in the sense that they do not contribute to earn in the family. Though they keep themselves busy all the time, their hard work is ignored and remains unpaid.

To keep up with the changing times, the modern age women are highly motivated to come out of the confinement of four walls of their houses and involve themselves in different types of work that help them become economically independent. With this, they have clearly realized that the women armed with education and economic independence could carve their niche in the society.

Women empowerment has become a buzzword these days. To empower a woman, the first step is to make her educated and financially independent. It is good that there are many organisations working to support women gain economic independence. Some provide them skill training like sewing, knitting, beautician or bakery whereas others give them some loan to start a small business. However, only some limited fields are identified as suitable for women. It is a need of the time to explore more areas where women can show their talents better. They must be encouraged to opt for innovative fields of their interest where they could get a chance to express themselves fully.

In such a scenario, recruitment of women in the Royal Nepal Army, for the first time in history,  is definitely encouraging on the part of women empowerment. It marks the new dawn towards achieving independence. Opening up new opportunities for women in the security service also shows the equal status of women in the society and it also helps break the age-old image of Nepali women as timid, frail and weak. The women soldiers loaded with courage, enthusiasm, confidence and dedication could stand as role models in the world of women. Otherwise in a normal situation they are ignored and put aside labeling as coward lot.

It is seen that driving is another attraction, especially in the Kathmandu valley, for women to earn their livelihood. We can see many women tempo drivers heading off comfortably and confidently on the roads. It is nice to see them creating their own space in the society.

It is not enough only to enrich their skills. Women must get an opportunity of education so that they can improve their social, economic an well as intellectual status and widen up their world. It ultimately helps them directly participate in the development of the nation.

Women are not less competent than men in any field; it is just a matter of opportunity as well as faith put upon them. There are more opportunities for males comparing to females so people perceive inaccurately that men are more capable and successful than women.

Nevertheless, in relation to the past days, it can be realized that the traditional image of a woman as the body wrapped in a sari, bent head, lowered eyes and shyness all over her face is gradually changing. Now a woman can adorn her body in a proper uniform as a man. She can hold her head high or look directly into people's eyes and talk fearlessly. In the place of  shyness, confidence and determination can be seen.

Women have  proved their capability in every sector they joined. They are successful in the field of education, business, banking, medical science and many more, but the underlying problem is that their number is nominal to represent each area  in comparison to men. There must be more opportunities available for competent an qualified women. They must have easy access to every field they desire to join. They must be trusted and upgraded to the top level as well as to the decision-making level if they are capable. Without giving a chance, how they can be blamed or doubted that they are incapable or disqualified for those posts. Women's power and capabilities must not be questioned if the Nepali society really wants to abolish the existing gender discrimination.

(Published in an English Daily The Rising Nepal daily on Friday, 10 September, 2004)   

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I would appreciate any and all suggestions on making improvements (as long as they are viable).