What women face when going out from home: gendered exclusionary powers in public space in Kathmandu
Paper short abstract:
It has been years since the outcry for “inclusion” became the feature of discourse on “New Nepal”. This presentation explores some of the barriers which make it difficult for women in Nepal to participate in public arenas, especially those that women face when they venture into public space.
Paper long abstract:
It has been years since the outcry for "inclusion" became the feature of discourse on "New Nepal" to be achieved through the ongoing state-restructuring process. The arguments on "inclusion" have been mostly revolved around the ratio of representation in political, administrate, educational, economic, and other arenas of Nepali society by various population groups based on such identities as caste, ethnicity, area of origin or gender. While the balanced representation of various groups in various aspects of public life is certainly important, to realize truly inclusive society, there obviously are efforts to be made other than number-crunching practice. For example, issues around identifying and removing the barriers, physical or otherwise, which make some population groups' substantial participation into public arenas difficult, should also be properly addressed. This presentation tries to put under scrutiny some of the barriers which make it difficult for women in Nepal to participate in public arenas out of the place where they have been generally/ traditionally supposed to belong: home. Among others, the discussion will focus on the kind of obstacles which effect exclusionary powers against women when they actually venture into public space. Mainly based on the interviews of working women on their work and lives conducted in Kathmandu in 2011-12 by the author, physical, social, or cultural barriers women face when they go out of house, how they react against or negotiate them, as well as what it takes to remove those barriers, will be explored.
Politics, culture, and cultural politics in the Himalayas