Women in Teria

Aasu Ram and another woman from the community explain their toilet mural, Ganespur Community of Bastipur NEWAH WASH project Siraha, Udayapur District, Nepal. Photo by Jim Holmes for AusAID.

Happy International Women’s Day! First let us tell you that there is good news. For the first time, the number of girls sitting for SLC examinations has overtaken the number of boys in Nepal this year.

Here is a quick summary of our five charts:

  • Ratio of young literate female to male ages 15-24 in 2011: 86.81%
  • Households headed by female in 2011: 28.2%
  • Total births attended by skilled health staff in 2011: 36%
  • Labor force participation rate, female in 2014: 50%
  • Proportion of seats held by women in parliament in Nepal in 2014: 29.9%.

Check out these charts below and tell us what surprised you the most.

1. Proportion of seats held by women in parliament in Nepal

Recently, Nepal has made progress in electing more women to parliaments. In 2006, only 5.6% of seats in parliaments were held by women. In 2008, it reached 33.8%. Wasn’t that great news? But in 2014, it fell to 29.9%. Let’s hope there will be an increase in the near future.

2. Labor force participation rate

Nepal hasn’t made enough progress when it comes to ensuring there are more women in the labor force. Only 50% of women are active in the labor force.

4. Female headed households in Nepal (% of households with female head)

We need more women who are educated and are working so they can not only lead Nepal but also their families. In 2011, only 28.2% of households in Nepal were headed by women. Let’s hope this will increase soon. We know women invest 90% of their income in their families. This will influence the productivity and ability of future generations who can help Nepal develop.

5. Births attended by skilled health staff

Last but not the least we know how important it is to make sure births are attended by skilled health staff. Mortality rates in Nepal has decreased significantly in the past. We have managed to reach the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on reducing maternal mortality.  But when only 36% of births are attended by skilled health staff, it’s not good. It needs to increase.

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