Proud to be a woman
Ever since I was a little girl, I have been told not to be “friends” with a boy, not to “hang out” after school. When my mum asked me to give up dancing, I gave up. When my aunt thought it was not a right thing to play football with boys at school, I gave up. During my teenage, the media brainwashed me by asking me to grow taller, slimmer, and fairer because that’s how “beautiful women” are. Dress in such a way that it is not too traditional yet not too vulgar. Smile in such a way that makes you likeable but not too “easy.” As I got older, I find out it was not the same for my brother or someone who was born as a man.
Why are women expected to be under these social norms? Why are we expected to undertake certain gender stereotypical roles of cooking and cleaning? Is it hard for women only?
No, it is not. I know there are different struggles in the men’s world as well. Having to oppress your emotions is not easy. That burden to earn more than what your wife keeps you under the constant pressure. The horrible job that you cannot quit because you are the breadwinner of the family is killing you inside. I know how many times you wished that you could share that special bond with your little baby just like the way your wife does.
The point is there are downsides to each gender. However, the main difference is women are discriminated right from their birth and sometimes even before the birth. The only problem with women of my generation is we are aware that we are discriminated. I know it is wrong when my neighbor’s son went abroad at 18 for a better future and his daughter who was of 20 was married against her will. I know it is not okay when my society thinks my mother is “lucky” as my dad “helps” my mother in the kitchen.
It is more painful when you know your rights but you cannot claim for one.
I know this preference for a baby boy can end easily as soon as we agree to share a surname of the mother. (I know this point seems funny in a country where women still are fighting for equal citizenship rights). Nobody would go for selective abortions as long as society approves that it is normal to live with your son-in-law just like the away it is now with the daughter-in-law. Would you hesitate to give the equal share of your property if your daughter takes care of you as your son?
The problems aside, when I look back to my journey I still feel proud to be a woman. Yes, we face a lot of problems just because of our gender, but at the end of the day, these complications have made me a better person today.
I never had to struggle to prepare a pancake for the breakfast and to make a nice set of dal-bhat. I can digest the meanest comment with a smile. I do not get mad over petty issues. I cannot think of being violent in my darkest dream. I have the confidence to balance my work and family even after having kids. I would not be disappointed if there is no cooked meal and clean sheets when I go home after work.
I am proud to be a woman because I can cry while watching TV soaps or reading a novel. I am proud of being a woman when I feel empathy for an unwell person. I am happy with how much I have experienced at home, school and work. I am getting older and I no longer compare myself with the beauty standards created by male-dominated media. I know well that I can never look like the cover girl in the magazine because the girl in the magazine does not even look like the girl in the magazine. I have developed the confidence to win the world.
Importantly, I am proud because I am not sure if I would have the same emotions and skills if I were brought up as a man in a Nepali society.
(Koirala is a PhD Student at the department of media and communication at the University of Oslo, Norway)
The Doklam dilemma
Being a buffer state between the two giant neighbors, Nepal should conduct its foreign policy vis-à-vis China and India in a very sensitive manner. Nepal has always maintained that it would not allow its soil to be used against any neighbor. At the same time, Nepal should make sure that its own national interests are never compromised.
Gaurab Shumsher Thapa
Effect of monetary policy on risk, stability and financial crises
The crisis of 2008–09 has reignited a new interest in understanding money and credit fluctuations in the macro economy, and the crucial roles they could play in the amplification, propagation, and generation of shocks both in normal times and, even more so, in times of financial distress. This may reopen a number of fundamental fault lines in modern macroeconomic thinking between theories that treat the financial system as irrelevant, or, at least, not central to the understanding of economic outcomes, and those that reserve a central role for financial intermediation.
The return trip
It took us over five hours, drenched in rain, walking through treacherous ratomato sluggishly. It should not have taken more than two hours in a normal day. It was the cruellest irony that no sooner did we reach Panchkhal and sat at the Pipal Chautari to rest, than the bus we had left behind, arrived with people in the bus bursting with laughter on seeing us.
Prospects for Nepali talents in the Diaspora
When Indu, a Nepali American teen studying in Virginia, asked Panta whether she could inspire Nepali youngsters into music industry and convince their parents to consider Nepali music as a path to professionalism, the female heartthrob of Nepali music could not fully convince her.
Traffic Police in Kathmandu
As busy and hassling as the traffic system in Kathmandu is, the Traffic Police here have to handle an equally strenuous job. Over 1,400 traffic officers in and around the Kathmandu Valley battle against the pestering traffic and air pollution each day.
Menstrual taboo outdated
I have seen my sisters and friends isolated and treated in discriminatory manner during their first menstruation cycle. They were not allowed to look at the sun, to touch water source, flower, fruits, any male family member, nor even hear their voice. The activist may claim the situation has changed and I do agree but still during every month my loved ones turns into untouchables beings.