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In Nepal, Women Will Have To Take Permissions To Travel Abroad. And This Is Not The First Time.

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I may have only spent 25 years living in this country and the world, but one thing I’ve learnt the hard way is that no matter what the price, the one paying it has always been a woman. Suppressed for centuries on end, one might contest that the position of women in today’s world is far better than it was before, but if you look closely, the patriarchy still runs deep in the system. And what makes it worse is regulations by the government that are doled out to maintain the dominance of men over women.

We say this after the recent proposal released by the government of Nepal that will require women under the age of  40 to show permission of their family and their local government ward office, among other requirements, to be able to travel abroad alone.

The proposal that has been sent to the ministry for ministry could come into play any moment now, and the fact that such sexist reforms that continue to increase the dependency of women on men or their family is rather saddening.

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Riled up at the sight of their rights and freedom being stripped away from them, women in Nepal have reacted to the news with dissent, anger and shock. A human rights lawyer Mohna Ansari spoke on the matter and called this move unconstitutional. She said, that such rules would violate, “constitutional provisions that guarantee equal and fair treatment of all citizens and call for ending gender-based discrimination.”

This isn’t the first time that Nepal has laid out such discriminating and questionable polices either. In 2012, Nepal  banned women under 30 from working in Gulf states, and the age bracket of this for women has been fluctuating since then. As a result of which

Rather than ensuring that the interest of women is protected and looked after carefully, the government that is largely run by men, insists on the move being an attempt to save women from abuses. Tek Narayan Paudel, a spokesperson with the Department of Immigration said, “his girls/women in this age group are at a higher risk of human trafficking and other abuses. The new rule is proposed for their protection from potential abuses.”

Even now, the onus of their protection comes as a brunt to their own freedom. Instead of making sure that better rules are put into place, the regulations for women are only becoming more restrictive and regressive. This is not how women should be made to live.

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