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Women making inroads into so-called men’s jobs

Birat Anupam, SUNSARI: The International Women’s Day 2020 was celebrated all over the world with #EachForEqual as the leading hashtag. However, if we are to look at the workplaces, this hashtag’s tagline is not omnipresent. Still, there are some women who are challenging the gender stereotype to break into the so-called men-only job here in eastern Terai plains of Nepal.
One such example is AmbikaTamang, who originally hails from Sundarharaicha Municipality-9, The 27-year-old is a popular barber working in her hometown. She trims and shaves men’s hair, moustache and beard without a fraction of hesitation. She is not struggling in her newfound profession but shining since her early days of professional endeavor in Itahari.
Trained by Swapnil Beauty Parlor of Itahari and Red Carpet Unisex Salon of Dharan, Tamang is an expert hair artist serving all sexes. ”I can serve all sexes”, said smiling Tamang, ”Men are more interested in my work as I maintain standard hygiene unlike other conventional barber shops of the town.”
Tamang is proud of her profession for two major reasons. Firstly, she is happy to be a minority yet very influential hair artist in Itahari. Secondly, she is making a decent earning from her technical job. ”Before being trained as a hair stylist for all sexes, I was finding it hard to find a job of even around Rs. 5,000 a month. But nowadays, I am easily making around Rs. 20,000 by serving less than a dozen clients.”
Likewise, Apsara Khatiwada,32, is another example of a woman making inspiring lead in the so-called gentlemen’s job like private security guard. Khatiwada, who is an inhabitant of Itahari-1 Halgada, works 12-hours-a-day in a business giant called Central Plaza of Itahari.
Wife of a good-earning migrant worker, Khatiwada receives around Rs. 70,000 a month as remittance from her spouse in gulf. However, she was not happy for being a jobless woman. And, she joined this job just a year ago. ”I make monthly income of Rs. 14,000 in a month and I am happy with my work”, said Khatiwada, also a mother of schoolboy. Khatiwada said lack of few women in her job had increased demand more women in the sector.
”These days, people are not looking down to people just because of the job they are in”, Khatiwada shared her experience in her job. She added, ”This inspires me to continue my job until I am physically and mentally fit.”
Menuka Rai, 24, who comes from Chuliban of Dhankuta Municipality, is also making her presence felt as an e-rickshaw rider in Itahari. Having trained for a week to ride professionally, she hired an electrical rickshaw. She pays Rs. 500 a day. Unemployed until a year ago due to lack of adequate education, Rai now makes an income of Rs. 1,500 daily.
”Out of my daily earning, around 700 rupees is saved after deducting all expenses of maintenance and charging”, said Rai, who is among very few female rickshaw in the city.
Rai said women rickshaw riders are loved by many for their sincerity. Santosh Niraula, an occasional electrical rickshaw rider of Itahari, echoes the same. ”I have found some male riders charging exorbitant fees for their service to outsiders and newcomers to the city”, Niraula shared his experience of riding in Dharan, Itahari, Biratnagar and Damak, ”I haven’t found single female rider doing this in different cities.”
These are some examples of women successful in breaking the gender stereotype just on their own. Provided some initiative and incentives on part of the State, women would certainly make their presence felt in par with their male counterparts. As there is still a long way to go for the society to see women involved in every sector and section in equal proportion to their population. RSS

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