Thursday Oct 6, 2022
Thursday Oct 6, 2022

How sexism persists in Nepalese schools

The problem starts from the students’ second home.

2022 Feb 14, 16:39,

Sexism has been around all forms of societies for centuries, and sadly still exists today. From demands for equal pay to facing sexual harassment, women have always had a uphill struggle in the society. There has been a sense of optimism in recent years, with global movements and organizations pushing for equality of both men and women. However, sexism still exists and it starts from the environment children learn in. One example is schools limiting the opportunities for girls.

“Having a cricket team for boys and not for girls has definitely shortened our experiences,” says Simrika Basnet, a 10th grader. “Perhaps we should have approached the administration as well about this. But the boys did not have to talk to anyone to form a team of their own; it was a given to them.”

Basnet’s comments are unsurprising for many. Usually males are considered to be physically stronger and athletic than females, limiting their opportunities in the field and the activities that come along. At the same time, the boys have to face the consequences that come along.

Ayushma Chhatkuli says, “Girls are not given physical punishments but boys are. While physical punishments should be stopped altogether, does this not say something about people’s mindset?”

While sexism has been identified as a problem in almost all places of the world by now, eliminating sexism remains a challenge. Especially when it comes to proper communication, there remains a stark contrast between boys and girls.

“Girls are told to wear skirts below their knees but boys are not taught how to control themselves,” points out Lipsana Bharati. “They talk about girls like they are objects. The difference between how teenage boys talk about girls and how teenage girls talk about guys is unreal.”

“The respect between males and females could be strengthened with a proper course on sex education,” says Shreya Shrestha of the Yuwa Organization. “However, the current curriculum in Nepal lags behind drastically.”

Shrestha, the coordinator of Yuwa’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights program, continues, “It is important for teenagers to be taught about safe and proper decision making. This is supposed to be prioritized when teaching about sex education. Then they need to be taught to have a positive attitude while having mutual respect between both parties.”

While the disparity between males and females exists and must be resolved, sexism extends beyond the genders and the sexual orientation of people are attacked as well.

“It is even worse for homosexual people,” says Rabindra Rai. “If you are a guy and you do or say things that are considered ‘feminine’, you are ridiculed for being ‘gay’. It does not even need to be something drastic. If one girl compliments another girl’s appearance, it is taken normally. But if a guy does so with another guy, they are thought to be ‘weird’ and a label is put on them immediately.”


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