The Non-resident Nepalese Association Hong Kong (NRNAHK) and Nepali Mahila Sangh (Nepalese Women’s association) Hong Kong jointly organized a forum on Sunday to discuss issues related to gender equality.
The event, which came as part of the March 8 International Women’s Day commemoration, saw the participation of different stakeholders, including a representative from the Equal Opportunities Commission and many leaders from the Nepalese community.
Charimaya Tamang, recipient of the “Hero Acting to End Modern-Day Slavery Award” in 2011, was invited from Nepal as guest of honor for the discussion that bore the theme “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it up for Gender Equality”.
Tamang is chairperson of an organization called “Sakti Samuha” that aims to empower trafficked girls in Nepal.
Guests delivered speeches about gender equality, women empowerment, and gender-based violence to the audience. Around 200 people, mostly from Nepalese community, attended the program.
NRNA is a non-political, non-profitable organization that is recognized by the Nepal government.
The group’s Hong Kong chapter plays an important role in empowering Nepalese women in the city and encouraging them to become self-dependent.
Gender-based violence among Nepalese women in Hong Kong is relatively high in comparison to that suffered by other local women.
Most of the Nepalese women in Hong Kong are housewives. They are not much educated, so they are forced to work at home. The women take care of their children and cook food for the family. They have to depend on their husbands for everything.
Women should be encouraged to go to school and get education, which will empower them to become independent. More opportunities should be given to the womenfolk.
Nepal is a male dominated society, where most women are confined to household work. Instead of sending their daughters to school, the parents ask the older children to look after the younger siblings.
The parents tell the daughters that they have to anyway go to another house after marriage, so it would a waste of money to spend on the girls’ education.
The situation has improved in recent years but the picture is still pretty bleak for women living in rural areas.
There are many issues related to women in villages. The list includes gender-based violence and health problems such as uterine prolapse.
Uterine prolapse is, in fact, one of the challenging health problems among women in Nepal.
Early marriage, insufficient gap between two pregnancies and workload are the main causes of uterine prolapse among Nepalese women.
Women with uterine prolapse face many problems — both from family and society. They face complaints from husbands that they are not able to satisfy the partner’s sexual needs. Some men choose to marry other women in order to fulfill their sexual desires.
A woman has complained that her husband has called her a lazy buffalo. She also says she feels embarrassed to go out of the house due to the attitude of others in society to people suffering from uterine prolapse.
There are so many issues related to women with uterine prolapse. Health awareness, education and gender equality play an important role to stop the maltreatment of women in rural villages in Nepal.
NRNA’s women’s branch has started a two-month campaign to raise funds for women suffering from uterine problems. The funds raised will be utilized on health camps to treat patients and to raise awareness on the issue.
Gender-based violence should be erased from the world. Men and women are equally important for development of the society, country and the world.
Men should learn to respect women and offer an environment where the fairer sex can get more opportunities to empower themselves.
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