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Patriarchy creating barriers for women to have it all

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Gender battle.

I recently got an opportunity to carry out a sample research with the groups of women at different places of Kathmandu. Despite Kathmandu being the national capital, women can still be found lagging behind here. Women are said to be the ultimate strength and support behind the success of an individual, and should be provided with equal opportunities and rights. But, they have continuously been facing inequality and injustice almost on a daily basis. God has created a woman in such a way that she can create a new generation of humans by giving birth to new offsprings. But, we can see a lot of differentiation and discrimination happening against her in the name of gender.

While conducting the research about the day to day issues faced by women, I found many problems and obstacles that are still hitting hard on the current situation of women. They aren’t getting their rights. I had carried out the survey among the groups of people aged 18-40. They weren’t comfortable to answer my survey questions at first, and agreed to answer only after I convinced them. While I was there for the survey, I asked them various questions including, had they ever been harassed, had they got to enjoy equal rights like men do, is 33% of women representation in parliament good, and what should be the role of government to improve the situation of women. I got similar answers from all the respondents – They have been harassed while walking on the street or in public vehicles, almost on a daily basis, directly or indirectly. It was only a few of them who said they have got to enjoy rights like a man does, rest of them said that they have not. Till now, the provision of equal rights and opportunities has only been limited to the talks and has not been come into existence yet.

About the question on 33% of women representation in parliament, they mentioned that it will help women to move forward, to know their rights and values, their higher representation in the government will inspire others that they too can do something, and they are not only for household purposes. When I asked them about who takes most of the decisions in their families, most of them answered it to be their husband, father, or grandfather. Only a few of them responded saying it was themselves who takes major family decisions. Even in this 21st century, a woman isn’t allowed to take decisions on her own.

Many of the women are deprived of their rights, and still, they can’t raise a voice. It is because of the male-dominated society. Is this how women should be treated?

Being a woman, what I personally feel is if someone is being violent towards you, you should immediately raise your voice against it. And every woman should have a right to make her decisions by herself. Women should be provided with their rights so that they can also do something good, and utilize their knowledge. For the improvement and betterment of women, the government should implement different plans and policies to motivate them. The government should also need to have programmes like free education for illiterate women, skills development training, and job vacancies for unemployed women. Only then can we light up the lives of women.

So, the final conclusion of my survey was women should get retention in the workforce, stronger rule of law against sexual harassment should be in place, and there needs to be a behavioral and structural change of the patriarchal society.

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By Melina Pathak

The writer is a student of BASW at Xavier International College, Bouddha. She is currently interning at Youth Initiative. This article is based on her experience in the survey.