A UN Gender Equality Update states that women’s duties increased after the earthquake: they were spending four-five hours a day cleaning the debris, and it took them three more hours to get water than before. Many had to check on children as they went about their daily work, delaying chores. Women were found to be less aware of the steps they needed to take for aid.
Surviving the aftermath, Sonam Choeyki Lama
Staying positive, Sewa Bhattarai
Women of all categories faced these extra burdens, but the impact was most deeply felt by single women who for the most part started rebuilding much later than others, as our profiles of women in this issue of Nepali Times show. Many women did not know how to work the system, and lacked vital documents like citizenship or birth and marriage certificates needed to claim compensation or share of property.
“Often, married women’s in-laws were unwilling to identify them in front of government officials, because they were scared that the women would get their documents and demand their share of property,” says Upasan Rana with Women for Human Rights (WHR). Without these documents, land and property remained with their husbands’ families.
3/4th of the sky, Editorial
Nepal’s better halves, Anil Chitrakar
The NRA (National Reconstruction Authority) has identified 9,024 single women above the age of 65 in its ‘vulnerable’ category, and is verifying their identities and giving them Rs50,000 more to help rebuild homes. The government’s Single Women Security Fund is also supposed to help with education, training, income generation, and relief, but many do not know about it.
“There is not much awareness about this facility especially among earthquake affected women who need it the most,” says Bipana Dhimal of Oxfam. Adding to the problem is that after the country became federal, the fund’s district level structures were annulled putting even more rural women out of its reach.