Stay in your house all day, spend your time by
cooking, cleaning, looking after your family, because this is the only thing
you should care about. This is your duty, the main reason why you are here. You
do not need to study, your objective is to marry so that you can be secure,
feel assurance and give birth to son who will take care of you.
However, the rule who you should marry is not simple at all. You cannot marry anyone you like. You have to emphasize to which caste he belongs, if he is acceptable for you. But don’t worry, your parents will choose the right husband. All you need to do is to obey.
Typical opinion and belief which Nepali women hear already from very young age. Or at least they used to hear. Women are taught to esteem men, particularly their husband. They do not have right to say their opinion, to study, to have their own free will. They are just men’s property, nothing more. They have to endure rules of community which are used to be very conservative, strict and inexorable. Basically, no rules for men. Women are the inferior ones. Would you like to work? Either you cannot, or you work for free, without any money, eventually for ridiculously small, rather symbolic salary.
And happiness? What is happiness? I doubt a lot of women know the word, the feeling. They live for their children, pass on them their dreams, wishes and try to relieve the situation. Especially for daughters. Mother never wants her child to suffer. Especially in case she knows how severe and tough life can be, after all she went through it. Although there is a progress and a lot of things are changing, the mentality remains the same. A lot of families still stick on compliance of habits and listen to the ones who are advanced in years. Community doesn’t respect changes. And if the community rejects you, it leads to a plenty of issues and I understand, everyone is afraid of that. It is not fault of particular people, it is fault of entire system.
Education is crucial and primarily it stands behind all changes in Nepali society. Government implemented new law in order to make women and men equal. But it needs a lot of time before people who are used to live in patriarchal society are able to accept and assume it as a matter of course. Formally girls have equal possibilities in terms of studying which in future should enable them to have suitable job. This would mean freedom and independence. They wouldn’t have to be forced to rely on their husband’s income in a future.
Also educated people are not willing to follow
obsolete tradition which form an abyss between genders, because they are able
to determine whether it’s meaningful or whether it restrains progression.
Unfortunately, this still sounds as a fairy-tale for
majority of women. In fact, a lot of families believe after finishing school
girl should get married. And after marriage there is lack of chances to find a
job, because strict and conservative family rules don’t usually women allow to
work as anything else than housewife. So many thwarted potentials and lives!
When I mention progress, just urban areas are included. We cannot forget the fact, that majority of people still lives in villages, where they don’t have access to education and information. Their way of living is based on original habits so these are the ones who need help the most. They desperately need to learn how to work more efficiently, how to break out of poverty and old-fashioned rules which are causing more harm than good. In many cases girls committed suicide, due to commandments, marriage and overall frustration. This cannot persist to infinity.
No one should have set different rules and status for women and men. We are all fully-fledged part of society which shouldn’t be divided by gender. Men are men and women are women, there shouldn’t be any superiority or preference. No one can sustain humiliation and discrimination in any case as a right way and society has to vanquish prejudices and get through the changes, no matter how hard it seems to be. Do you find it wrong? Do something about it!