Gender and its relation with community Development and in context in Nepal

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Gender role development is one of the most important areas of Community development.  "Gender" refers not to male and female, but to masculine and feminine - that is, to qualities or characteristics that society attribute to each sex. People are born female or male, but learn to be women and men. “Gender” refers to the roles, responsibilities, attributes, and power relations that are socially constructed by and assigned to men and women of a given society or community. These constructs vary greatly by culture, geographic region, socioeconomic status, and context, and they change over time. Perceptions of gender are deeply rooted, vary widely both within and between cultures, and change over time. But in all cultures, gender determines power and resources for females and males. In context of Nepal gender disparity have always been present since very beginning but recently only the discussion and issues of gender related things have come out to mainstream. There is huge gap in accessing the rights and power between the male and female in Nepalese society. Rural areas women are more deprived compared to the women in urban areas.  Women have less access than men to productive resources, services and opportunities, such as land, livestock, financial services and education.  Third gender seems to be somehow excluded from the society even though the government have made policies for them and providing them with identity.

Gender and community development is a process towards sustainable way of community development incorporating all the gender with equal participation and involvement. If there is no equal say/ participation of both male and female it is not a sustainable development. In context of Nepal, Women and girls in rural areas play an important, largely unpaid, role in generating family income, by providing labour for planting, weeding, harvesting crops. Usually they are responsible for taking care of smaller animals. Girls have never been the first priority to send the school. From the very beginning of their childhood they are discriminated. When we see the social inclusion index, women are lagging behind in educational dimension Index, Health Dimension index, Social Dimension index, Economic Dimension index. Women are further disadvantaged economically and socially because they often receive approximately half the years of schooling of men and have less access to health care services and fewer legal rights. They are not considered or given opportunity to complete their higher studies. They are forced in marital affair in minimum age even in urban areas. Women have less access to and control over resources, benefits, and opportunities, including land, assets, credit, training, and household income. Women in Nepal typically earn less than men for the same work, and their jobs are concentrated in lower paying industries and the informal sector. In addition, family work is usually unpaid. Gender roles have also lead to the disparity between women and men. In every sector and every situation we can always see the discrimination between male and female even in the least amount. Similarly Women are essential to economic growth in developing countries. Moreover, investments in women often return multiple surpluses in terms of helping to improve the well-being of their children, families, and communities. Women are central wage earners. Their earnings and productive activities provide vital income to many households. Women also are vital food producers and preparers. Women in developing countries produce between 60 and 80 percent of food crops. Yet women continue to face social barriers and inequities that prevent them from realizing their full economic potential, which is adversely affecting the economic growth of the country and development.

Gender relations are the ways in which a society defines rights, responsibilities and the identities of men and women in relation to one another. When we relate gender with community development it is very important to change the perspective of men towards women. Unless and until the perspective of the people does not change towards women they are somehow always to be dominated in the society. When we talk about gender and community development if is very important that there is gender equity in the society. Gender equity means fairness and impartiality in the treatment of women and men in terms of rights, benefits, obligations and opportunities. Until and unless there is gender equity community development is very difficult. During the community development gender balance is very important to keep in mind in order for the sustainable development. Gender balance is the equal and active participation of women and men in all areas of decision-making, and in access to and control over resources and services. When this all things are met than gender and community development will bring a very positive and sustainable development in society. This will minimize the conflict in the society and will enhance and boost up the development activities. Gender mainstreaming is the globally recognized strategy for achieving gender equality. Gender mainstreaming is defined by the United Nations as the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action in all areas and at all levels. That means making both the concerns and experiences of women and men an integral dimension of all agriculture and rural development efforts. And Nepal being an agricultural country can speed up very fast in economic growth with gender equity.

When we see the gender and community development from surface layer we cannot see the problem deep down there. In order to remove the gender disparity it is very important to look down in the root cause and change the perception of the people towards women and third gender.


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