Tag Archives: nepali women

Women Entrepreneurs in A Country Where Business was Men’s Domain

Women entrepreneurs in Nepal have come far but they still have a long way to go. Women entrepreneurs are still waiting for a situation where they will get a chance of working as freely as their male counterparts.

Siromani Dhungana/UWB

Over the last few weeks, I have met several women entrepreneurs who are doing amazing work in the entrepreneurial world. I listened to women entrepreneurs and got motivated from their amazing journey of struggle.

I was truly inspired by the struggle of the first generation women entrepreneurs in Nepal. I know, women still face problem from their very commencement of enterprise in Nepal. The society still does not believe in their capacity and even their own family does not want to invest their capital in the business run by women due to lack of confidence in the women’s ability to run a venture successfully.

Yet, they are doing very good especially in Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) field. Currently, women own about 14,300 small and medium enterprises in Nepal, accounting for 2 percent of GDP (registered formal sector) and employing over 200,000 workers. A study commissioned by International Finance Corporation (IFC), private sector lending arm of the World Bank Group, suggests that meeting their current credit requirements of US$ 106 million can increase their contribution to the economy.

Long Journey

The other day, I spoke with Hajuri Bista, a first generation women entrepreneur in Nepal. Business was men’s domain even few decades ago, she says. You know people used to laugh at women who were in favor of setting up venture, she shares her experience. Entrepreneurship was a male preserve and the idea of women taking up entrepreneurial activities was considered as a distant dream, she adds. Continue reading Women Entrepreneurs in A Country Where Business was Men’s Domain


Nepal Declaration of Girls of Even Worse Character

UWB Note: Tired of reading declarations of political parties and agitating organizations? Here is yet another declaration, which is not really boring, from our own Girls of Even Worse Character! [नेपालीमा यहाँ छ: चरित्रहीन चेलीहरूको नयाँ अवतार]

FEBRUARY 2007 DECLARATION of Jhan Charatraheen Cheli [Saturday Blog]

[Inside: A CharitrawanChela responds The text has some adult content. Reader discretion advised.]

We, a hardline faction of the underground group, Charitraheen Chelis (Girls of Bad Character), have broken off and declared Nepali women autonomous.

Our breakaway faction, Jhan Charitraheen Cheli (Girls of Even Worse Character), roundly denounces the members of the original Charitraheen Cheli.

“The chelis of our mau-samuha (mother-group) did not behave badly enough,” says one member of the Jhan Charitraheen Cheli. “Most of them are happily married, with well brought-up children. Two chelis have a steady boyfriend– meaning, one each, not one in common! And the others don’t like men, or even women,” she complains. “For example, after the 2005 coup they called for a sex boycott till the reinstatement of democracy – but they forgot to call off the boycott after April 2006! We take this as a grave conspiracy,” she adds, explaining, “That is why we had to break away and start our own underground group.”

The first meeting of the Jhan Charitraheen Cheli took place in mid February
in a seedy bar in Kathmandu.

Our first agenda was to revisit the 40 points’ declaration made by our mau-samuha on March 4, 2005, through their official mouthpieces, Nepali Times and Kantipur, both edited by dishy men. We discovered that the 40 points are pretty damn good, especially Point No. 1, which asserts our right to take up agendas solely on the basis of our wishes and needs.

“That mau-samuha wasn’t all bad,” one member was heard admitting.

After re-passing our mau-samuha’s 40 points’ declaration, we progressed on to other, more timely matters. Our twelve-point declarations are as follows:

1. Make love, not regression! We declare that the sex boycott called by our mau-samuha in 2005 is comprehensively over, retroactive to April 2006, but only for those of the loktantrik persuasion.

2. Vision 50/50: No penises in Parliament! We demand that until 50 percent of seats in Parliament are reserved for women of diverse backgrounds, women of diverse backgrounds should occupy all 100 percent of Parliamentary seats. The same goes for all government bodies! 50 percent or bust!

3. Naturalize foreign jwais! One of our brave chelis has volunteered to sacrifice her independence (temporarily) to marry a foreign man, only to seek full naturalization and citizenship rights for bideshi jwais (foreign sons-in-law). Qualified candidates, please apply with CV, photo and statistics.

4. 40 is better than 33! We applaud the CPN(M) for filling 40 percent of their Parliamentary seats with women. But why not 50 percent?

5. And what’s with the grey coats? We’ve noticed Maoist women open their mouths only to repeat the same carefully rehearsed party-approved lines. Ladies, we invite you to release your individuality from the party’s command. Speak your minds freely. Unleash yourself from all uniformity. Start by getting rid of those awful coats.

6. Whipping is for brutes! Women of all political parties, Defy all whips placed by your party denying women’s rights. Do not sacrifice our rights for ‘more important’ agendas set by your party’s men. You know they will only betray us, yet again.

7. New leadership for the New Nepal! We nominate Ram Kumari Jhankri as the first President of Nepal.

8. Turn the National Women’s Commission into a constitutional body! But first, fill 50 percent of the positions in the Constitutional Council (which forms all constitutional bodies) with women. If not, fill all 100 percent of the positions with women. It’s 50 percent or bust!

9. Hello? OHCHR? How many years before a single case comes to trial? We demand that the case over Maina Sunwar’s torture and murder in military custody be seen through properly. The case was filed with the Police, and they have tried to contact the Army; but 16 letters later, there has been no reply. Perhaps Ambassador Moriarty has insights from his tour of army barracks? Maybe he could try getting the Army to respond?

10. Don’t forget what makes the world go around! We unanimously declare the sexiest man in Nepal to be Sunil Babu Pant of the Blue Diamond Society.

11. Donors, back off! All your projects and networks and alliances and seminars are keeping our best women too busy to lead the women’s movement. Back off! Their country needs them more than your country reports do.

12. Give it up, give it up, give it up! We demand that all our demands be met by March 8, International Women’s Day, or else we will declare a nationwide chulo-ra-cholo bandh (stove-and-blouse closure). That’s right, boys: No food, and no sex for you. Nada. Zip. Nothing. No joy till you capitulate.

In conclusion, we would like to declare that – following the example of other successful rebel groups before us – we are fully prepared to come above-ground to take part in negotiations, should the government invite us for talks.

Jaya Nari!
*The Jhan Charitraheen Chelis*

UWB: Though we are not “official mouthpieces” of Jhan Charatraheen Cheli, we are pro- Jhan Charatraheen Cheli and thought of sharing the declaration here. Here is the text in Nepali that appeared in today’s Kantipur.