Progress And Struggle Of Women Empowerment

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While travelling through the roads of Kathmandu, I came across many females riding their choice of vehicles, which made my heart smile. If I had to rewind time for ten years, this scene I am witnessing right before my eyes would seem unrealistic. In this short time, the way women have created their own space in this stereotypical society has made me realise that if we are willing, we can make so much more happen. It is just a matter of less or more; otherwise, women throughout the world have been looked down upon throughout the centuries. But as time passes, women around the globe have come together stronger than ever, shining as bright as the sun and empowering the upcoming generation to do more and become more. In this society, women are often perceived as ‘one who is challenged by nature’, but on the contrary, I believe that the challenge they think of is our core strength. Thinking of it as our weakness, people tend to make it an excuse, but when given the opportunity, women have always proved themselves in every field.

 Today I see Kamala Harris standing firmly as the first female vice president and the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history, as well as the first African American and first Asian-American vice president. Today I see Taylor Swift moving the world’s heartbeat with her beats of music. Today I see Susan Wojcicki, the former CEO of YouTube, who ruled the world of YouTube for more than a decade, as a shining example for many aspiring young girls. Today, I see all girls are free to dream and believe in their dreams due to the example female leaders across the world have created for us. I come from a family where we are the two daughters of our proud parents. My sister and I were always encouraged to dream big and make immense achievements. It doesn't mean that it was always a bed of roses for us. Even after coming from the least level of conservative family background, I was still asked the popular question, ‘Don't you want a brother now?’ ‘Tell your mom that you want a brother!’ Even though it was a joke and a fun statement to make, we cannot ignore the fact that it has come from a deep-rooted belief that the mentality of people reflects the importance of a son in a family, which still prevails in many households in our country. I consider myself the luckiest because my dad and mom would never even think of looking at us any differently. But every Nepali family isn't built the same way. I have heard the horrible stories of my friends where still many families highlight the importance of a son, where the door of opportunities is only open for the male members of the family. If we step out of the lights and glams of this city life, we can peek into the dreadful lifestyle of females. From Chaupadi to dowry, different rural areas have different traditions made to torment women, which is not even a newer issue to raise. On one side, I see these emerging youths where feminism is a trend, and women seem to be standing tall in their positions as leaders ruling different sectors of national or international affairs. On the other hand, I see women not being able to claim their basic rights in society. And all they can blame is their fate. There is this huge gap created where, on one side, we celebrate the accomplishments of women and, on the other, we feel sorry for those who have been deprived of the rightful life they deserve. And we, who have been well educated on the importance of equality in society, have a prime responsibility to bridge these gaps. In March, which is the month for women's empowerment, let us all come together as one and work from our level to uplift the living standards of women, starting from our own houses. As we all must have heard, change begins with us. It is so unfair when both housewives, as well as working women, are supposed to handle the household, especially the kitchen, as if it were a tag that they were born with. 

So, if we stop waiting for our moms or wives to come home to prepare dinner and do it by ourselves, the younger generations will start walking on the same paths, and the customs will change. After that, mentalities will be shaped better. It is necessary to normalise girls learning self-defence and sports, while men can learn cooking and cleaning. Come on, it's the 20th century, and clearly, cooking and cleaning are not gender-based roles; they are necessities. If our dads can get children to sleep so that moms can watch a show because they get tired too, they are humans too. I am well aware of the fact that change is the only constant. And we are changing and progressing in terms of women's equality and feminism. We can see this concept kicking off on social media platforms, but still, women in many countries around the globe are constantly seeking help to live off their basic rights; they are tormented and deprived of what is there for them. I can see the world taking a step, but on the same node, we cannot forget that a very long and strenuous journey awaits us.


(Koirala is persuing higher education in Kathmandu University.)

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