Like most countries, Nepal too celebrates International Women’s Day on 8 March. But unlike most countries, Nepal still has a long and far way to go to get the gender balance right. Despite gruelling hours of back-breaking work and carrying more responsibility than men, the women of Nepal have always been underestimated by the society. They take all the burden of their family on their own shoulders, single-handedly manage the household, carry out painstaking duties to make money only to get beaten in return bytheir drunk husbands.
The main purpose of the women’s day celebration in Nepalis to empower Nepalese women to protest against ill-treatment and backward thoughts. Every year on that day National Women's Commission and Ministry of Women take initiatives and celebrate the day enthusiastically in the capital Kathmandu. The Government of Nepal has declared this day a national holiday and every Government institution remain closed on this day. Numerous NGO’s who deal with women’s rights and thousands of people across the country take part in this program. Numerous events and rallies take place across the country on that day.
Women in Nepal suffer from several major problems including wage discrimination, gender violence, gender inequality and above all illiteracy. Though Nepal’s literacy rate has increased in the recent years, the percentage of literate women is far behind being satisfactory. The overall literacy rate of Nepal is 56.6 percent but the female literacy rate is only 44.5 percent (NLSS III 2010-2011).This situation is slowly and gradually changing. Nepalese women are showing enthusiasm towards basic and higher education and aiding camps prepare them and push them forward to take up their choice.
Yet, the gender inequality is very much vivid in Nepal. As of 2015, women in Nepal still earn 57% less than their male counterparts despite having the same qualifications and sharing equal workload.Another major problem that persists here in Nepal is Gender violence. Around 48% of Nepali women experience violence in their lifetime.
The Government of Nepal has made a number of commitments at the international level to ensure gender equality and to curb violence against women by passing international human rights instruments, including the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
However the legal measures are far from being clear-cut. The patriarchal order, lack of education among grown-up women and plenty ofloopholes in the legal system form obstacles that these uneducated women find hard to overcome.Caste discrimination complicates the problems of lower caste women by manifolds. These disempowered women are often victims of sadistic physical assaults and since the legal system is also compromised with, as regards the lower castes, they do not get the justice which is rightfully theirs.To lend a helping hand, Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) is restlessly working for eliminating the gender and cast based discrimination by arrangingdifferent activities such as rally, campaign, capacity building program, study, networking etc.
FEDOmarched a rally on the occasion of the 104th International Women's day, together with National Woman Commission, Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare and other organizations.