Sudurpaschim Province

Development projects in Dadeldhura empower women

- DR PANT, Kathmandu

Jun 19, 2019-

Many women living in rural areas of Dadeldhura district are busy these days, as most of them are now involved in various development projects in their local units.

These women are mostly engaged in road projects, undertaking labourious tasks such as carrying stones, shoring trenches, installing scaffolding, compacting soil and breaking hard rock, which are conventionally considered a man’s domain.

“Contractors usually hire men in construction projects, but since there are hardly any able-bodied men in rural villages, the opportunity

came knocking at the door for us,” said Geeta Bohara, a resident of Amargadhi, who has come to her work site after wrapping up her household chores.

Most of the men in the villages have gone abroad for employment, leaving only women and children behind. The departure of men has opened up job opportunities for women.

Not just as labourers, some women have also been recruited in decision-making positions.“From the ones leading a team to the ones doing the heavy lifting, entire construction projects are being run by women,” said Bohara.

“These projects have enabled women participation that was rarely seen in the villages earlier.”

As per a recent data of the local units in Dadeldhura, more than 80 percent of the women in the district are now involved in various construction projects.

According to the District Coordination Committee, the local units are more than happy to have women in construction projects because they believe the quality of work delivered by women is better than that of men.

“In my experience, women have higher work ethics than men. I’ve found that women are more honest about their work,” said Hari Bhandari, an assistant engineer for a drinking water project.Kaushila Bhatta, chief at the Bhageshwor Rural Municipality, said almost all development projects implemented in her municipality have a high number of women participation.

“The progress rate of projects in which mostly women are involved is commendable,” said Bhatta. “Women workers are setting a great example of building camaraderie and making it work even in large scale development projects.”

Shanti Joshi, a representative of Nepal Women Association, said that all local units should launch development projects with an objective to employ women, not for a lack of men but because they are as capable as—even better than—men in implementing projects.

“This move will propel the advancement in physical infrastructure development alongside human development and ensure gender equality even in far-flung areas of Nepal,” Joshi said.

Published: 19-06-2019 07:37

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