NEPAL: Plight of Working Mothers

Sunday, September 12, 2010
The Himalayan Times
Southern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights

The tide is beginning to turn in the world social order. Traditional family roles are changing as democratic notions creep into the social system. Earlier, it was assumed to be written that the man was the provider in the family and the woman the homemaker. In Nepal, while a majority of the women may still be fighting against the old order, some have definitely seen the light at the end of the tunnel. And it is not just because women are beginning to realize that there is a world outside their kitchen windows. Women are also turning out in large number in the work force due to economic necessity. But, as in the case of every social change, there is a log between action and attitudes.

While people may be willing to accept the idea of career-women, they are not willing to excuse them from their duties as career-moms. The attitude towards working women seems to be that, while people have no object to availing of their talents and abilities outside the home, women are not allowed to compromise on home life. And if they do, they should be made to feel the error of their ways. Being a working mother is not the easiest job in the world. It is like a tough nut to crack. Child psychologists say, “While mothers are working around the clock and not spending enough time with their children, it can have an adverse effect on the child's development. Children may feel neglected and seek stimulation outside the house.

Servants can look after a child's basic needs, but they cannot be responsible for the child's intellectual, social and emotional development.” Mothers too who have to go back to work are not happy leaving their child at such a young age. They feel guilty and anxious Probably the best things for women to do if they want to work is to either work part-time or get a job that has flexible hours or work freelance. However, in the case where mothers have no family at home to leave their children with a good crèche may be an option to consider. Ideally, a person running a crèche will be educated and experienced with children and definitely a better option than leaving children to their own devices or with servants. But mothers must be very careful about checking the credentials of the person running crèche and speak to parents of other children in the crèche before they take a decision to send their child to one.