Development Dialogue

Development Dialogue is a language of contemporary discourses on human development which aims to stimulate each entity of the society for a new history of humanity. It stands for communicating the problems that people face and hence is more value-based than other units of human life. Envisioned with better quality of human life it admires the imagination of ordinary citizens, their daily concerns and necessities and circulate these elements in policy articulation.

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Gender Equality and Development in Nepal

Gender is generally defined as socially constructed differences between male, female and third gender. It arises due to social values, beliefs and traditionally built gap between different sexes. It is distinctly differentiated from sex, which is biological matter. Nepalese society has observed male domination since its inception, religious and cultural settings of the society are main causes for.
Gender inequality does not necessary focus on women. It relates to unbalance power relation. This unequal power relation may be observed from household to supreme body of the government. Gender based violence are due to this unbalanced power relation. The side having decision making power always tries to dominate to the side having low profile in power relation.

Development is possible only when society experiences positive change in socio-economic status. Women are the most vulnerable component in relation to gender equality and development of Nepal.  Women cover more than half of the country's population. But they contribute less than one third to the country's economy from the active sector. Most of the women are running households but their contribution is not substantively observed. At present, less than 10 percent of employees are women in civil service, less than 6 percent in Nepal Police, less than 2 percent in Armed Police force. Nepal Army has about 5 percent women representation. Government of Nepal by the inclusive policy has ensured 20 percent seats of 45 percent of total in every government entity for empowerment of women. This positive discrimination for women empowerment has certainly helped Nepalese women to come up for their betterment.

Nepal has acute problem of workers' migration to gulf countries. One can hardly see youth in village. Nepalese industrial sector can neither provide enough employment to these youths nor can government retain them in agriculture. Youths' migration for work in gulf countries may have positive effects on household's economic prosperity, and ultimately country's economy, but long-term development has been in shadow. Government is still encouraging people to go abroad for work. This is ridiculous.
Nepalese families are eager enough to stay in urban area, or at least in district headquarters leaving fertile land behind bare. What could they do? Development starts from family, from individual. Family observes prosperity and development through gender balance in the family through equal power relation. Women must have economic and other decision power. Until they don't, family and ultimately country can't catch the root of development.

Dipak Bhandari
UN Volunteer, Naxal, Kathmandu.  
UNV Volunteer
For: Initiative Nepal


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