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Cultures of Economies: Gender and Socio-Spatial Change in Nepal


Rankin, Katharine. 2003. “Cultures of Economies: Gender and Socio-Spatial Change in Nepal.” Gender, Place & Culture 10 (2): 111–29. doi:10.1080/0966369032000079514.

Author: Katharine Rankin


This article contributes to ongoing debates animating geography today about the boundaries between 'economy' and 'culture' and their implication for policy planning. It explores the mutual embeddedness of culture and economy through an ethnographic analysis of the interrelationships between spatial practices, economic strategies and gendered symbols of status in Nepal. The fine-grained ethnographic analysis presented here is intended specifically to challenge 'best practice' approaches accompanying the recent 'discoveries' within economic geography about the significance of culture in determining and promoting regional competitiveness and in presenting alternatives to capitalism. The article draws particularly on the practice theory of Pierre Bourdieu to reveal how local 'economics of practice' in Nepal establish and maintain gendered ideologies that structure material opportunities differentially for men and women. Feminist geography, meanwhile, contributes a spatial dimension to practice theories, important for understanding the relationship between individual consciousness, action, and social change. Throughout, the article reflects on the implications of processes of cultural production considered here for the epistemological frames within which development takes place.

Topics: Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2003

Education, Gender, and Migration in the Context of Social Change


Williams, N. 2009. “Education, Gender, and Migration in the Context of Social Change.” Social Science Research 38 (4): 883–96.

Author: N. Williams


Although sociologists have identified education as likely determinant of migration, the ways in which education affects migration are unclear and empirical results are disparate. This paper addresses the relationship between educational attainment, enrollment, and migration, focusing on the role of gender and how it changes with evolving social contexts. Using empirical analyses based in Nepal, results indicate that educational attainment has positive effects and enrolment has negative effects on out-migration and including enrolment in the model increases the effect of attainment. In the case of women, with the changing role of gender, increased education and labor force participation, the affect of educational attainment changes drastically over time, from almost no effect, to a strong positive effect. Consideration of enrolment, and the role of gender in education, employment, and marriage may help to explain the disparate results in past research on education and migration.

Keywords: migration, education, social change, Nepal

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Education, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2009

Women in Conflict Zones: Case Study of Nepal


Gul, Nabiha. 2007. “Women in Conflict Zones: Case Study of Nepal.” Pakistan Horizon 60 (4): 69-79.

Author: Nabiha Gul


The discourse on women in conflicts has largely focused on human rights violations against women during the course of conflict. However, over the years, women's participation in conflicts as combatants has been considerably amplified. Feminists believe in women as being peacemakers and peace lovers but quite contrary to this traditional portrayal, women are playing an active role in conflicts. Their participation in conflicts as combatants has not only given a new dimension to their status but has also added a new perspective to women's studies.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2007

Men's Roles, Gender Relations, and Sustainability in Water Supplies: Some Lessons from Nepal


Regmi, Shibesh Chandra, and Ben Fawcett. 2001. "Men's Roles, Gender Relations, and Sustainability in Water Supplies: Some Lessons from Nepal." In Men’s Involvement in Gender and Development Policy and Practice: Beyond Rhetoric, edited by C. Sweetman. Oxfam Working Paper, Oxfam, Oxford

Authors: Shibesh Chandra Regmi, Ben Fawcett

Topics: Environment, Gender, NGOs Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2001

Citizenship Rights and Women’s Roles in Development in Post-conflict Nepal


Pant, Bijan, and Kay Standing. 2011. “Citizenship Rights and Women’s Roles in Development in Post-conflict Nepal.” Gender & Development 19 (3): 409–21. doi:10.1080/13552074.2011.625656.

Authors: Bijan Pant, Kay Standing


Despite human rights abuses, the ten-year conflict in Nepal brought aspects of empowerment to women, changing their role in the family and community, as women became active outside the home, challenged the security forces, and began to assert their rights as citizens. Drawing on a research project into the participation of women in community development projects in three areas of Nepal, the present article examines how far development agencies in the post-conflict period have succeeded in furthering women’s citizenship rights, and in giving voice to women’s concerns and participation. It argues that development organisations and agencies have continued to operate mostly without including the voices of women, and women are disappointed by these non-participatory and top-down development models, which are leaving women’s status as second-class citizens unchallenged. Women are consequently exploring alternatives. The article uses examples from the field and interviews and focus groups with marginalised women and non-government organisation workers to suggest ways in which development agencies can work with participatory models to advance women’s citizenship rights. Given the diversity of social groups and peoples and gender relations in Nepal, the present article will also raise critical questions about the form and content of women’s participation, and the intersections of gender, class, caste, and ethnicity on citizenship rights.


  • Bijan and Standing analyze the ways in which women’s quest for citizenship in both a formal / legal sense and an informal / practical sense were made manifest in post-conflict Nepal. Although great atrocities were committed against women by both sides of the conflict, the civil war was a source of empowerment for some women, particularly for the large numbers of women who joined the Maoist movement, and there were hopes that this new agency would translate into greater citizenship rights for women in the post conflict period and that this, in turn, would give women greater agency in local community management institutions (over resources such as water). The authors’ approach was to approach this issue obliquely by investigating whether participation in NGO-sponsored activities (which play a large role in Nepal’s economy) could challenge women’s marginalized societal status. Challenging characterizations of women as second-class citizens and empowering women as active agents of change instead of objects of development was found to prompt a marked increase in the participation of women not only in NGO’s, but also in neighboring communities.


“Women articulated how NGOs contributed to the problem by employing top-down methods of project planning, informed by ideas about development and women’s economic and social roles which focus on the worth of women’s labour to the development process, rather than seeing women themselves as actors who can bring valuable contributions to the consultation and decision-making process.” (416)

Topics: Caste, Citizenship, Class, Development, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, NGOs, Post-Conflict, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2011

Free-Riders or Victims: Women’s Nonparticipation in Irrigation Management in Nepal’s Chhattis Mauja Irrigation Scheme


Zwarteveen, Margreet, and Nita Neupane. 1996. Free-Riders or Victims: Women’s Nonparticipation in Irrigation Management in Nepal’s Chhattis Mauja Irrigation Scheme. 7. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Irrigation Management Institute.

Authors: Margreet Zwarteveen, Nita Neupane

Topics: Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 1996

Cross-Border Trafficking in Nepal and India—Violating Women’s Rights


Deane, Tameshnie. 2010. “Cross-Border Trafficking in Nepal and India—Violating Women’s Rights.” Human Rights Review 11 (4): 491-513.

Author: Tameshnie Deane


Human trafficking is both a human rights violation and the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. This article examines cross-border trafficking of girls and women in Nepal to India. It gives a brief explanation of what is meant by trafficking and then looks at the reasons behind trafficking. In Nepal, women and children are trafficked internally and to India and the Middle East for commercial sexual exploitation or forced marriage, as well as to India and within the country for involuntary servitude as child workers, domestic servants, circus entertainment, and factory workers. Nepal and India are both signatories to international conventions and bound by domestic law to combat trafficking, and yet, this scourge continues. There are many laws in place, both in Nepal and India, which regulate the trafficking and prostituting of girls and women. This article looks at how effective these laws and regulations actually are and will look at the reasons for the continuation of trafficking. Despite the formal recognition of girl trafficking as a major problem and the existence of laws to curtail it, trafficking continues. The major problem with Nepal’s and India’s domestic laws is in the lack of enforcement. Finally, this article will look at ways to fight trafficking and make the governments of India and Nepal more effective in their fight against trafficking.

Keywords: Trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, slavery, sale of humans, human rights


  • Article is mostly devoted to descriptive coverage of the specific international conventions, international and domestic (Nepal & India) laws, and protocols that relate to trafficking as well as penalties and the failures of the Indian and Nepalese governments to appropriately comply and implement international standards.

Topics: Corruption, Gender, Women, Girls, Governance, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Nepal

Year: 2010

Bhutanese Refugee Women in Nepal: A Continuum of Gender Based Violence


Domini, Simona. 2008. “Bhutanese Refugee Women in Nepal: A Continuum of Gender Based Violence." PhD diss., University of London.

Author: Simona Domini


This paper aims to give an account of gender-based violence among Bhutanese refugee women. It is based on secondary resources and primary research conducted in terms of informal interviews in Nepal. It argues that GBV among Bhutanese women during the ethnic cleansing campaign implemented by the government of Bhutan was part of a broader continuum of violence started in peace time, was exacerbated during the persecution perpetrated by the army and persisted in refugee camps. It also shows that displacement can provide opportunities for changes as refugees are exposed to influences of international aid workers and to ideas of equality and its promotion.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Humanitarian Assistance Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bhutan, Nepal

Year: 2008

'Failed Development’ and Rural Revolution in Nepal: Rethinking Subaltern Consciousness and Women’s Empowerment


Leve, Lauren. 2007. “‘Failed Development’ and Rural Revolution in Nepal: Rethinking Subaltern Consciousness and Women’s Empowerment.” Anthropological Quarterly 80 (1): 127-72.

Author: Lauren Leve


Rural women's active support for the decade-long Maoist insurrection in Nepal has captured the attention of academics, military strategists, and the development industry. This essay considers two theories that have been proposed to account for this phenomenon. The "failed development" hypothesis suggests that popular discontent with the government is the result of uneven, incomplete, or poorly executed development efforts and recommends more and better aid as the route to peace. In contrast, the "conscientization" model proposes that, at least in some cases, women's politicization may be the unexpected result of successful development programs that aimed to "empower" women by raising their consciousness of gender and class-based oppression. Drawing on the testimonies of women who participated in such programs in Gorkha districta Maoist stronghold where women are reported to have been especially active, I argue that both of these explanations reflect assumptions about social subjectivity that are critically out of synch with the realities of rural Nepal. Gorkhali women's support for the rebels embodies a powerful critique of neoliberal democracy and the Nepal state, but one that is based on morally-grounded ideas about social personhood in which self-realization is bound up in mutual obligation and entails personal sacrifice, not the culturally-disembedded valorizations of autonomy, agency, and choice that most models presume. Theorists of subaltern political consciousness and of the relations between development and violence must engage with the gendered moral economies of the people they aim to empower if they ultimately hope to promote sustainable peace.

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Political Participation, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2007

HIV in Nepal: Is the Violent Conflict Fueling the Epidemic?


Singh, Sonal, Edward Mills, Steven Honeyman, Bal Krishna Suvedi, and Nur Prasad Pant. 2005. “HIV in Nepal: Is the Violent Conflict Fueling the Epidemic?” PLoS Medicine 2 (8): 705-9.

Authors: Sonal Singh, Edward Mills, Steven Honeyman, Bal Krishna Suvedi,, Nur Prasad Pant

Topics: Armed Conflict, Health, HIV/AIDS Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2005


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