WOW | People

Why are there not enough women in leadership positions in Nepal? What is holding us back?

Bivishika Bhandari
Program Lead, Hamri Bahini- The Green Angels

In Nepal, most women are cut off from the “race” at early stages, as they do not get access to opportunities to build their capacity; some fail because their capacities are not trusted or respected.

With increasing number of competent women entering the workforce, limiting conditions before, during and after entering the professional arena, is affecting women’s success in securing leadership positions. In Nepal, most women are cut off from the “race” at early stages, as they do not get access to opportunities to build their capacity; some fail because their capacities are not trusted or respected. The hindrance also rises from the roots, as young girls and boys start believing that their gender identity determines their capacity. No it doesn’t! What has also been holding us women back is a lack of accommodating and nourishing environment for growth, taking in account how most women strive to balance responsibilities both at work and at home. Yes, most of us want to be on top of our game with a diaper in one hand and a cellphone on the other. We cannot blame a flower for not blooming; we must water it timely to create a nourishing environment for it to blossom. While the scenario for some women in urban settings, in a handful of areas are changing, with increasing number of women in middle managerial positions, there are still significantly less number of women in higher decision making positions. Therefore, when opportunity strikes, women should hold the courage to stomp their foot and grab it. Additionally, our conventional mindset about how leadership should look like (dictating) does not harbour the different types of strengths and intelligence in leadership that women push (compassion). As a society, we collectively seem to be fearful about this type of change in leadership style; hence, we tie the hands punching to make holes in that glass ceiling.