Stand-up for womenOne woman can make a difference but together they can make a change,” said Barbara Mikhulsi.
One woman can make a difference but together they can make a change,” said Barbara Mikhulsi. It is indeed true that women can make a drastic change. They are equally important as men. They are seen as two wheels of a cart. It implies that both the men and women must be equally strong. The value of women seems important but the reality is different.
The Nepali society is a patriarchal society. Though women constitute more than half of the total population of Nepal, they are still treated as minority. Women are discriminated in many ways. It starts from birth itself. If a baby girl is born, both the mother and child become victims of neglect. She is deprived of better education, food and other facilities. Even our religious belief defines a baby girl as Goddess Lakshmi. If indeed, a girl child is like Lakshmi, why is this equity for her? Moreover Nepali women have not got their own identity. They have to follow their husbands in every step of their life. There is social discrimination against women whose roles are confined to domestic chores and reproduction to carry forward the family genealogy.
People hold a view that women are not as capable as men in terms of ability and intelligence. This view has to be proven wrong. Today, women challenge men. We now have women who are working in media, journalism, teaching, nursing, medicine, engineering, business, politics and army. What better example can there be to prove that women are excelling than to look at our current president who is a woman.
Our country is changing politically, economically and socially at a great pace. In comparison to the past, we can say that the condition of woman has improved. Although the change includes only a small percentage of women, particularly in city and town areas, it is definitely an encouraging sign that things are changing for the better for women. But still this has to conquer the whole country. Unless the population is not empowered with access to education and opportunities, any effort at development will not be meaningful and sustainable. So women empowerment is crucial.
Accor-ding to United Nations (1995), women empowerment has been defined to encompass women having a sense of self-worth, access to opportunities and resources, choice and ability to exercise them control over their own lives and influence over the direction of social change. What this clearly says is that women have the ability and they can be the catalyst for change for the betterment of the society. The issue of women empowerment has become a central part of international discourse today. It has been addressed as a matter of priority.
Education is the key to empowerment. So women must be educated. In most of the highly developed and sophisticated societies educating women is as equally important as men. Obviously, a nation that invests in women’s employment, health and education are likely to have better outcome. Their children will be healthier and better educated. So this is not just the right thing to do for us to hold up these women to support them to encourage their involvement; this is a strategic imperative. There is considerable evidence that women’s education and literacy tend to reduce the mortality rates of child.
Summing up, educating and empowering women is ensuring their bright future. So let’s stop discriminating against women and liberate them from the shackles of our traditional belief that a woman’s place is in their homes. They just need the opportunity to prove their worth; to see women not as inferiors but as individuals with the potential to change our world. Let’s unite to bring a change.
Shah is a class 11 student at Prasadi Academy