Have you ever seen your male friends go to school while you cannot? Can you imagine getting married to a person you have never even seen? Have you had to fear that after doing all household chores and go out to work you will still be ridiculed? Have you ever experienced how you carry a baby for 9 months and when you give birth to a girl child all you see is the unhappiness in the eyes of your family members including your husband? Have you ever worried about how you will feed a meal to your family tonight because you have nothing to cook? Have you ever struggled to provide a pencil and a copy to send your child to school? Well it might be something you have not thought about but there are millions of women who live their life everyday with these fears and all they can do is to live with it.
God created man and woman but the society created the differences between them. Being a woman, daughter, sister and additionally a wife, daughter in law in the Asian context is another story all together. The challenges, beauty of all these relation is different if you ask anyone.
There may be a handful of women who have had the full freedom of what they want to do and what they dream to become. Many of them are now not confined in the 4 walls of the house but are given chance to work and pursue their dreams. But how many of them?
The pressing need is not the liberty to just dream but the freedom to let them follow their dreams. Not mere words but actions. So how is this possible? Personally, I think this can only be possible if each member of the family and the society support and encourage. Well this is what I have seen growing up in the city. However, majority of the women in Nepal are not even allowed to think of their future and what they want to do in life. Every crucial decision of their life is made for them by others and they need to abide by them.
The stories that women have shared with me during my visits to different parts of the country has motivated me so much and changed me so much. Their hard work, perseverance, commitment all has overcome the tests of life anyone could give. They have overcome big hurdles in life which we cannot even imagine living in a city. Things that we take for granted are things they struggle to get like a decent meal, right to education, health, struggle to send kids to school, be able to provide them with basic necessities, be able to work, be able to give birth to girl child and be able to raise her. The social and cultural stigmas play so much of meaning in their daily lives. The policies and rights for woman are written in papers but has not reached the grassroot level. Their stories of struggle exist and keep growing.
So, when will the change come? How will it come? Well this is one question that has been talked about a lot. I personally feel that being a woman and talking about empowering and uplifting life of woman, women themselves should be the pushing factor. Mother, sister, friends, mother in law, daughters play a very important role in doing so. A woman can only understand the problem and complexities that a woman faces and feels. But along with this it is very important for each of the family member to understand what she wants, how they can provide for her, give guidance, and encourage her for the good deeds that she has done.
Change actually comes from within and its brings progress if people around you support you. Once your intent is clear and you press yourself to take that one bold step it changes everything and leads you to progress. Progress can be financially, emotionally, socially. It changes you and the people around you.
As we mark the International Women’s Day 2018, Let us celebrate woman and their achievements. Let them be able to influence other woman around them. Meaningful inclusion of women in decision-making increases effectiveness and productivity. Let us- men and women work to unlock the greater progress of woman and help achieve their ambitions. Let us make woman part of the change at all levels so that we progress towards a better future.