International Women’s Day (March 8)
The status of Women is gradually improving in many parts of the world including Nepal. Betterment can be observed in many areas including education, health, employment, gender awareness and so on. Nevertheless, the status of women is still poorer to that of an overwhelming majority of their male counterpart. It is disheartening to notice the incidences of evil-practices such as dowry system, witch-craft and female foeticide still being followed in many areas of the country. It must be a shame for all of us, the people of the 21st Century, that beating of wife, inflicting violence and perpetrating a filthy crime like rape against women are not even considered an offense in many sexist societies.
Women constitute more than half of the total population of the world. Therefore, development is unthinkable where more than half of the population is marginalized. Economic progress can never be realized with a myopic view of isolating more than half of the population or denying them any opportunity in the social and public spaces. As women and girls bring unique talents, ideas and perspectives to the workplace, empowering women is not a matter of choice, but it has become a matter of dignity, justice and development. Only a psychologically, socially, and economically empowered woman can build her family and glorify her community. Having empowered women and girls in a country means sharp reduction in dependence rates, reduction in violence against women and increased household incomes resulting into an improved standard of living and better households, societies and the economies. Women’s participation in the political, social and corporate life can help spur sustained economic growth and social change.
However, because of huge gender disparities, women are also the tremendously untapped resources in many least-developed and developing countries. Therefore, on the special occasion of this “International Women’s Day”, I urge everyone to inculcate a belief in yourself and help impart this belief in others that just like men, women and girls can be the leaders and change-makers to ensure a world which is simply better and nicer than the yesterday’s.
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