WOW | People

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

Kripa Basnyat
Executive Director, Hamro Chahana Nepal

The socialisation process from our childhood teaches us to behave “properly”, act like a “good” girl and not demand extravagantly. Our minds are wired to easily accept men in leadership position rather than women.

Women cover half of the sky but don’t hold much of leadership positions and there are endless reasons holding women back from reaching their highest potential. Even if few women are successful in breaking the chains of social structures and inequality, they are restrained to take risks or demand higher salary and positions. The socialisation process from our childhood teaches us to behave “properly”, act like a “good” girl and not demand extravagantly. Our minds are wired to easily accept men in leadership position rather than women. We need to aim to change the environment for women leaders to lead and increase the commitment to enhance women’s agency. The society needs to change the status quo where women are underrepresented, underpaid and undervalued in most of the fields. There is value associated with patriarchal system and violent masculinity that anything feminine is shunned and belittled. There needs to be a formal and informal mechanism to recognise, reduce and redistribute the burden of unpaid work. The undeniable fact is women are left behind during their reproductive years performing care work. Where will women be when they join the mainstream economic workforce again? Each one of us can be change makers advocating for gender equality and create unbiased space for women to reckon as leaders in all the sectors. A suitable environment can be created by changing mindsets of people, building capacity of women to be strong advocates of gender equality and bring men as equal partners to fight against gender based discrimination.