Women Education In Nepal

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Literacy rate has been used as a measurement of development and a means to help subordinate women in the Third World by empowering them through education. The focus of development programming often considers women’s economic position by improving their access to education and vocational planning. Literacy programs in Nepal illustrate some critical points of women 's empowerment approach. Robinson-Pant’s ethnographic work in Nepal questions the concept of development and women’s literacy program. She points out the different understanding of education and literacy between the locals and program planners and the locals who believe that education is a means to make women more efficient in their current gender roles in the domestic spheres …show more content…
By criticizing Prative Suedi’s descriptions of subordinate and oppressed Nepal women in the first part of her book, she questions literacy programs which dominate in women’s development policy (Herzog 2011). USAID-Nepal in 1990’s which aimed at promoting women’s empowerment and democracy through six to nine months literacy programs by targeting100,000 women is one of examples Herzog found it ineffective. She states “ the women in the villages that I visited didn 't seem to require literacy courses. They were assertive, vital, and socially involved, and they contributed significantly to their families’ and communities’ economy. Some of them have participated in literacy courses in the past but nothing that was said by these women could support any claim concerning the contribution of these courses to improving their own or their families’ lives”(Hertzog 2011, 32). She concludes that “men’s interests in preserving power and control, in both the “West” and in “the Third World”, leads them to employ the gender discourse while I practice excluding women from vital resources” (Hertzog 2011, 22) and “whereas the women’s program was presented as a means to create a gender transformation, in proactive , it was sabotaged by male officials who used cultural rhetoric to prevention its realization” (Hertzog 2011, 184). Gender roles are quite diverse across cultures and the definition of gender roles also vary. Western feminist perspective of gender binary system in which assert strict gender roles such as women’s subordinate roles as wives and mothers and universal female status as the oppressed leads to the common assumption that economic development and modernization of “Third World” women helps gender equality yet Western donors rarely see the cultural differences and their real needs. This can be explained by Edward Said 's the notion of Orientalism

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