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Enhancing women ownership

Enhancing women ownership

“Yatra Naryastu Pujyate Tatra Ramante Devata,” goes one of the lines of Bhagwad Geeta, which translates to wherever women are honored and respected, every god we worship is happy. From the time immemorial women have been defined as homemakers; they say home is where a mother is. 

While most families in Nepal are strongly patriarchal, the role of women cannot be overlooked when it comes to keeping families together. But women actually are capable of doing a lot more besides home and family fronts. Women have just started claiming their place. As they begin to assert their status, they don’t have it easy. They want equal rights and opportunities.  Article 18 of Part 3 of the Constitution of Nepal mentions the ‘Right to Equality’ under Fundamental Rights and Duties. This ‘right,’ however, is limited to paper. Nepali girls and women still experience severe socioeconomic inequality in spite of the efforts made by the Government of Nepal, non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations. 

Yes, the gender stereotypic school of thought has changed over time and womens are taking the lead on major areas, but there is still some residual discrimination hindering women’s growth. But their perseverance for equal rights and opportunities has not dwindled. Nepal is experiencing a significant rise in women led businesses, challenging old stereotypes and breaking new ground.  Women contribute fresh perspectives, creative ideas and unconventional thinking to the workplace, which can inspire firms to think creatively and make better judgements. The financial advantages are another factor that makes women in business essential. 

A Google and Bain company study predicts that by 2030, women entrepreneurs could create 150-170m jobs driven by better education, increased digital technological use and supportive programmes that empower their physical and mental well being. But still when it comes to investment in women, be it in education or business, a large part of Nepali society still looks askance. The gap in investment towards women empowerment and development has contributed to gender inequality and disparity. Nepal is all set to graduate from Least Developed Country (LDC) status in 2026, a process that will create new opportunities for economic growth and integration with the global economy. But the graduation also creates new challenges in terms of where the genders of the nation stands. Nepal needs to step up its efforts to elevate the status of its women. Improved quality of lives in women of Kathmandu isn’t what women empowerment is all about; the overall status of women around the country needs to be improved. 

A survey conducted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in 2023 found that 85 percent of women were unpaid workers, whereas 40 percent of them were inactive in economic sectors. Nepal still stands second among South Asiain countries in child marriage and has high prevalence of violence and trade on women. The vulnerability is still there while we raise awareness about feminism and women empowerment. Even with many notable improvements and changes, challenges still persist for Nepali women to assert their rights and gain equal treatment in society and in the worlds of career and business.  

Women struggle to obtain business capital and frequently experience discrimination. The gender gap in financial literacy is a noteworthy issue, with women typically having less understanding than men about managing their finances. Nonetheless, success stories in a variety of fields demonstrate the tenacity of Nepali women and point to a movement in the direction of empowerment. With so many chances and challenges ahead of them, Nepali women entrepreneurs must embrace financial literacy, make use of technology, connect with supportive networks, and participate in government initiatives. By remaining knowledgeable, flexible and strong, female entrepreneurs can grow their companies and make a substantial economic contribution to Nepal. There is plenty of promise for the future and women leaders can achieve incredible success and inspire future generations.