Tharu women are taking role of community chief in KailaliTharu women have started to take the role of community chief, also known as Badghars or Bhalmansa, in some villages of Kailali district.
Tharu women have started to take the role of community chief, also known as Badghars or Bhalmansa, in some villages of Kailali district.
The position was exclusively held by men in the past.
A Badghar is an elected representative of the Tharu community whose primary duty is to look after the management of the community.
Badghar Sita Chaudhary of Jonapur in Godavari Municipality-8 said female Badghars were far fewer than their male counterparts, because women were still limited to household work and men do not see them as natural leaders.
“Women are rarely elected as Badghars. Our society cannot willingly accept a woman in a leadership position. Some men in our society question our ability to become Badghars,” said Sita, who is determined to prove her mettle.
She juggles family duties and job of a community chief with the support of her husband.
Jonapur women are proud to have a female Badghar. They are showing a marked enthusiasm in community works these days.
“After I was elected the Badghar, women participation in social and development works has been active. Around 90 percent of the women are engaged in various development works,” said Sita.
A similar gusto has swept other Tharu villages in Kailali where women are leading their communities.
Hema Chaudhary, the Badghar of Bijayanagar village in Tikapur, claimed women were not hesitant to share their problems in villages led by women.
“Women feel comfortable talking about their problems, be it domestic violence or property dispute, if their village Badghars are also women,” she added.
Women Badghars are also working closely with their local units on various social issues and infrastructure development projects.