Women’s insecurities and the workplace in Nepal

A study from Banke and Bara districts

Insecurities that Nepali women experience in the workplace have been explored in previous studies, but this new report focuses on the difficulties employed and self-employed women face in the wider context – in their homes and communities, travelling to and from their work, as well as in their workplaces. This report finds that women encounter multiple challenges to their full participation in the working environment, and that existing equality legislation, limited though it is, is not adequately implemented. Evidence points to the positive impact of women’s access to and full engagement with work, and so it is imperative that existing obstacles are tackled. The findings and recommendations, based on research in the Banke and Bara districts, are intended to strengthen governmental and nongovernmental engagement on the issue of women and insecurity and point to future areas of research.

Key findings include:

  • Harassment in public spaces and workplaces is a common but underreported experience for women
  • Women are paid less for the work but also less likely to be hired as permanent contract staff
  • Women are largely unaware of their rights concerning the workplace
  • Women face pressure from their husbands, families, and communities to refrain from working
  • The government is not focusing sufficiently on strengthening security of women in the workplace and on the way to and from work.

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“Women who have control over their earnings and income are also more likely to invest in their children and communities, potentially opening new opportunities for education.”

Daniel Coyle