THE MADHESHI WOMEN’S NATIONAL CONFERENCE – PART III: EXCERPTS FROM “HAMRO KATA” OR “OUR STORY”
The Madheshi Women’s National Conference – Part III: Excerpts from “Hamro Kata” or “Our Story”
2. We are Madheshi women. We are mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives. Early in the morning we get up, clean the utensils, and cook food. We feed our children and husbands and send them to their schools and offices. We toil in the fields and care for them. We walk to the jungle, cut firewood, and carry it home. We collect grass to feed the cows and buffalos. We bear children and raise them. We care for our families, teach our children, get them married, and then look after our grandchildren. We toil so hard yet our parents, husbands, brothers, and leaders fail to understand our feelings, our struggles, and our pain.
3. We are Madheshi women. We have many struggles but we are not powerless; we are the personification of strength. We did not have money to pursue studies. Many worked hard to pay for their education. Our road to school was blocked by family and community members but we revolted and reached the schools. At very early ages our parents got us married and we solved all the problems that resulted. Even after taking huge doweries our in-laws tortured us mentally and physicallyMany of our husbands hungered for more dowry and wanted to marry again; many doing so two or three times. Even with no formal education while looking after the house we learned to handle many matters. Many of us are unmarried, cast out, and widowed.
4. We are Madheshi women. We engage in social work. Along with our jobs we are involved in social activities. Many of us are in politics. Our families tried to stopped many of us from getting involved in politics – they suppressed our will to come forward. We have to live behind the veil, yet we haven’t stopped doing what we love to do. Holding on to the hope that we can also do something we are slowly emerging out of the walls of the house. Most of us are the victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, and social violence. Thinking that all these problems must be addressed through political decisions, we are stepping onto the public stage.
6. We are Madheshi women. We have a vision for a new Nepal. In this new Nepal no one will be exploited or oppressed. Women will have seized our rights and we will thrive. We will be governed by a constitution written by a body that is inclusive and representative. Madheshi women will be ministers, and some day prime minister and president in the new Nepal. We will all be employed. There will be no dowry system. Our daughters and daughter-in-laws will be respected. Women will be 50% of politicians and bureaucrats. Women will be in charge of government organizations. Women will hold high offices and even become justices. The new Nepal will be beautiful, peaceful, and powerful and for each person there will be justice, equality, and freedom.
7. We are Madheshi women. We call upon our brothers and sisters from Madheshi, Janajati, Pahadi, and all other communities to work together to build the new Nepal of our dreams.
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