Better Life Nepal – gender inequality as global problem

ProMosaik’s Denise Nanni and Milena Rampoldi have a report that will introduce you to Better Life Nepal, an NGO working for the empowerment of rural and remote communities in
that country. To have a future, children need schools to educate and support
them in their ongoing struggle against forced marriage, poverty, girl
trafficking, and child abuse. Such are the main objectives of “Better Life
we would like to thank Santosh for providing us with some answers and

How was“Better Life Nepal” founded
and in which context?
The idea of social organisation was not new, and we
were already working together on different social causes and issues before the
founding of

Better Life Nepal in 2011   as a non-religious, non-political, non-profitable, non-governmental
ation (NGO) — by a diverse group
drawn from development workers, educationists, social activists and other
professionals. Better Life is officially registered
under the Society Act with the District Administration Office in Kathmandu and
is affiliated with the Social Welfare Council of Nepal.
 I personally was inspired by my father, who as a social activist, had founded at his own expense a school in 1998 in the remote village of
Panchthar where small children used to walk for more than an
 hour to get to their elementary classes.
What are the main social issues in
Poverty and illiteracy are two root causes of the
social issues. Both create social problems of a different kind. Poverty brings
with it a band of issues where the desire to better oneself overtakes the
desire to do anything else. Illiteracy,
on the other hand, concerns immorality which results in social problems. The most common social issues in Nepal for example concern girl trafficking, unemployment, forced or unwilling
physical relationships, child abuse, early marriage, misbehaving in public
places or at home, drug misuse, violence against women, human rights
violations, and rape — to mention but a few.
Let me raise some of the other social issues which are
rapidly growing in Nepalese
society where suicide has become a major national issue highlighted by a series
of high-profile suicides in recent years.
The main causes of suicide are drugs, unsafe sexual relationships, and
financial mismanagement.

ost suicide attempts are by the younger generation aged
between 15-39.
 Another uncommon but growing social issue is gender violations in so-called high profile and educated families where the
unacceptable solution for such crimes and violations is to have them dealt within
the family, at the community level, or at the political level with token
punishments and fines
Such social issues in Nepal are great hindrances to
our peace, security, harmony, well-being and development.
How do you support education among
We have endeavoured to educate and motivate individuals at different community levels with varying but appropriate
strategies. Such strategies are used to educate individuals according to their age, and
socioeconomic class requirements. For instance we are sponsoring/managing
expenses for children’s formal education and funding stationery and libraries
for different schools. On their side for informal education we are producing
social awareness through stage programs, documentary/filming, and
organising a hearing/sharing centre. To
be honest, we as BLSO
 are lacking so many effective educational programs due to limited
resources and funding.
What are the main problems when it
comes to gender inequality?
Gender inequality stems from distinctions, whether
empirically grounded or socially constructed. Gender inequality is not
restricted to
one society or nation, but is a global problem. Gender inequality relates
, and cultural perceptions. When we talk about gender
inequality we do so in terms of feminism which is psychologically wrong because
that in itself
promotes gender inequality.  There are so many
problems we are facing like mistreatment, uneven distribution of employment,
pay discrimination, access to law, decision making freedom, fair treatment in
public places, access to education, and access to politics.
Do you address any specific action
to women’s rights and empowerment?
We believe in equal access to  everyone in every area of opportunity.
BLSO discourage
s any gender discrimination when
conducting social business anywhere.
 We believe that
social awareness and gender empowerment are the most effective weapons to
e social inequality; that it is a global issue about which we all need to have a wider understanding; that its issues aren’t equally prevalent in our society and cannot be solved with a single stroke; and that by selecting vulnerable areas of society, we can create increased awareness
in order to discourage it. And yes,
continually and carefully
monitoring the

problems in our work and society, we can to some extent succeed in minimising
it. As mentioned earlier, some of our
 programs are
still in the
pipeline, while others have been frozen due to lack of funds.