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Discussion Topic: Fight against patriarchal perceptions
For centuries, the aspects of patriarchy were systematically fed into the mindset of people in Nepal as in other parts of the world which is still prevalent despite after numerous accounts of social movements. A male figure in the family and society took the sole lead in decision making while on the contrary, woman and even males of lower status were considered unimportant. The role of a woman was limited to providing care and support to a family.
A vivid example of patriarchy that led to male superiority could be seen in the local level elections 2017 of Nepal where for Chairperson/Mayor positions, mostly man got the ticket while in Vice-Chairperson/Deputy Mayor positions, women were mostly nominated by the political parties that too in the light of complying with constitution’s quota system. So, as expected, man bagged the most of the chief positions while woman occupied higher percentage of deputy positions. Reforms in constitution did pave a way for more participation of woman into political ecosystem giving a thrilling opportunity for women to make their voice heard like never before but society remained skeptical towards the contribution a woman could make as a politician. Male Superiority, which has burgeoned in the grip of patriarchy, is a malignant factor that is constantly precluding women’s succession to decision making positions in almost all institutions.
The above is one view of GBV, presented to promote thought and discussion around the topic. The views expressed in the discussion topic does not necessarily reflect the views of the project or its team members.
Most importantly, at a ground level, women Road Building and Road Maintenance Group members making wage earning of their own and deciding how to make use of the earned money gives immense boost to their confidence and subtly challenges the patriarchal setting of our society. RAP3 MHLR has been giving equal space and importance to rural men and women in every project work and local group meetings. With the project’s inclusive initiative, the old concept that only men should participate in community and development work in those rural districts has been improved and women seem to be involved not only in the project work but also in other activities in their community.
Kirsteen Merrilees, is working in the capacity of the Team Leader for RAP3 MHLR. For many other women, Kirsteen is an inspiration as she is leading delivery of a successful programme with a long history of inclusion being in the core of intended socioeconomic changes and infrastructure delivery. Kirsteen might be the Team Leader for RAP3 MHLR but she often visits the field, which gives a strong example to concerned stakeholders regarding the women leadership. The infrastructure sector is male dominated globally, and her example for women leadership could be followed in similar programmes in Nepal.
Attempts for small change at every level will help eradicate the deep-rooted patriarchal settings from our society in the days to come. What is your evolutionary approach to the problem of Nepal’s patriarchal society? Let’s discuss.