Role of Married Women in Household Decision Making: a Case Study of Nayabazar Vdc, Ilam District Nepal

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Role of Married Women in Household Decision Making:
A Case Study of Nayabazar VDC, Ilam District

A Thesis

Submitted To:
Central Department of Rural Development
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, in
University Campus, T.U.
In Partial Fulfillment for the Masters Degree of Arts
In Rural Development

Submitted by
GITA PAUDEL
Exam Roll No. 281444
T.U. Regd. No. 6-2-22-1383-2005
August, 2012

CHAPTER - ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

Women play a significant role in the development of nation. Women were considered as second grade citizens in most of the countries including Nepal. This perception is still persisting in many developing countries like Nepal. But in recent years people have started realizing the importance of Women’s participation in the economic and social development. So, it would not be out of context to accept the socio-economic status of women as a variable of development. Recent changes in the world for women have imposed a positive effect in society due to the long-term attempt made by the national and international women organizations and the supporters of the feminist movements. In recent world scenario, women shave been actively participating in the political and social aspect. A large number of women are working as doctors, engineers, lawyers, pilots and scientists. Moreover women have also travelled in the space. As such women have now perceived as productive potentials of the nation.

In Nepal, women comprises more than 50% of total population but only 42.49 % female are literate (CBS 2001). Women are heavily engaged in domestic chores along with the socio-economic activities. They have major role in household management and they have to do more than 50% of household works in spite of having low decision making power. They are discriminated since their childhood. During childhood, they have to live under their parents’ life, in adulthood; they should follow their husbands and the later past, their children. They have no liberty to decide freely even their own personal lives.

The majority of women in Nepal live in rural areas where the choice for livelihood is limited to agriculture works on the farms which are owned in most cases either by fathers, husbands, brothers or landlords. Most of females are economically dependents, very few women are economically independent and they have higher decision making power. Socio-economic status of female affects the role of women in society. As female are less educated; they have low decision making power. Women, who have higher education and higher economic background, have higher chance on decision making. Female are not considered to participate in decision making process in most of the socio-economic, religious and other activities. There are very few households which are headed by female. According to the census 2001, only 17.18% households are headed by women. Though women have the sole responsibility of household income they are not considered as the head of the household.

Prior to the UN declaration of 1975-1985 as the UN decade for women, well-defined women organization in Nepal was practically nonexistent. Few women’s organizations which emerged as an outcome of the political movement during 1950 and 1960’s were primarily interested and motivated, designed to serve their own circle of families and friends instead of women at large. The focus of the Nepal Women’s Organization (NWO) established in 1960 was directed more towards social welfare activities like knitting, sewing and weaving. Although, its interests were not purely in upliftment of women, nevertheless, its efforts to indicate an interest and concern for women and their development cannot go unappreciated.

It was only after the UN declaration of 1975 as the international year of women and 1975-1985 as the UN decade for women that a national committee...
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