Women in their daily lives

Rasuwa District is located in the Central Région of Nepal, in the Bagmati area, on the border with the Tibet Autonomous Region. It's one of the Districts most affected by the earthquake of April 2015. According to Government data, 82% of the Rasuwa population was affected and about 95% of the buildings were structurally damaged. In the villages of Saramthali, Langbu, Lumbu, Sarsyun and so many others, almost all the houses collapsed. 

Many of the families living in these mid-hills villages are Tamang, an ethnic group of Tibetan origin. The vast majority live from agriculture. At least the women do, because many of the men, husbands and sons have left to find work in the cities, often in the construction industry. Some have emigrated to the Gulf States. This rural exodus concerns about 35% of the men.

It's in this environment that we met Subika, Malati, Mina, Rani, Katchi, and dozens of other women. The vast majority of their husbands only come back once or twice a year, notably for the Dashain festival in October. But the society remains very patriarchal. Women's rights are subordinated to men, they have no rights to land, rarely have their own income. Rural women work far harder than men, by and large : they take care of everything, rising before down to clean the house, doing the hardest fieldwork, raising livestock, cooking, educating their children, etc. The majority of the women we met have a very poor education, sometimes never having been to school.  

 

Fortunately things are slowly changing. While until recently many girls were married at 14 or 15 and had many children, today almost all girls go to school. And their mothers are slowly gaining in self-esteem and independence, notably thanks to the support of NGOs like ASIA.

Here are little stories of girls, women, mothers, their daily life, in pictures.

Subika gets up at 5 a.m. every morning, and starts by washing the house. After preparing food for the family, she ferments millet to produce Raksi, the local alcohol.

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Children get up very early in the villages of the mid-hills. Girls usually help with housework before going to school.

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Neelu asks me what you have to study to be a photographer. "I would also like to do that later on.

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Subika gets up at 5 a.m. every morning, and starts by washing the house. After preparing food for the family, she ferments millet to produce Raksi, the local alcohol.

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