The position and lives of Nepalese women within society and their home is very complicated and dependent upon their ethnic group, relative family wealth, and educational background.
Women face a harsh life in Nepal: female mortality rates are higher, literacy rates are one of the lowest in the world, women work longer and harde than men, for less reward.
Whilst there are some local variations, most women face a daily range of discrimination:
- Patriarchal society
- Young marriage
- Lack of family planning and high birth rate
- Lower health and nutrition rates
- Violence (domestic, trafficking, etc.)
Generally the legal system also discriminates against women and their freedom to choose their lifestyle. Having said this there have been a number of recent cases of liberalisation of the law such as in regard to abortion, menstruation, homosexuality, land rights, and citizenship.
Despite this, too many reports are negative towards the lives of women. The annual festival of Teej celebrates women, many customs give far more support to women than other developing countries, some communities are even matriarchal, Hindu women in Nepal are arguably freer than their counterparts in India, and women are increasingly standing up for their rights.