Women's Voices from the Book Dispatches from the People's War in Nepal
Revolution #038, March 12, 2006
"Before the initiation of the People's War
I did not know anything about politics or parties. But after
the initiation one of my relatives suggested that I take part
in the local cultural group and asked me to go to their rehearsal.
I didn't tell my mother or father about this—I only told my
older brother who said, ‘Go ahead, if you want to die... Can
you carry a gun on your shoulder?' I replied, ‘You didn't
give me a chance to study and now I am eager to solve the
problems of the people and the nation. I want to fight for
liberation. If you won't allow me to go I will rebel.’"
"There have been many changes in people's
thinking since the initiation. Fathers and brothers are now
involved in things like cooking, getting water, washing dishes.
There is also a change in the women's thinking. Before, women
were not permitted to do things like make the roof of the
house or plow the fields. But now where the People's War is
going on, it is easy for women to do this. Before, women didn't
make baskets and mats, according to tradition. And women used
to think they weren't good enough to do this work. But when
we dared to do this work it was easy. So if we dare we can
do anything—there's no distinction between men and women."
The fight against the oppression of women
is woven into the fabric of this People's War. When the armed
struggle started in 1996, it was like the opening of a prison
gate—with thousands of women rushing forward to claim an equal
place in the war. Some had to defy fathers and brothers. Some
had to leave backward–thinking husbands. Others ran away from
arranged marriages where parents had decided their fate. They
all had to rebel against feudal traditions that treat women
as inferior, that make women feel like their ideas don't matter.
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolution
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