Changing Work and Life Aspirations among Nepalese Women: A Hofstedian Approach

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To be presented at the next ICGBE Conference at our BBD Building in June. Abstract:

Nepal is a developing country in which women continue to face discrimination on a number of fronts. This includes unequal treatment with respect to access to food, healthcare, education, employment, control of the means of production and decision-making ability. The majority of Nepalese people still hold misconceptions about the potential that women have in the economic, political and social spheres, as exemplified by the commonly used proverb that a son brightens the world, while a daughter brightens the kitchen. However, societies change as a result of the processes of globalization and the intensification of capitalism and Nepal is no exception to this. Women have new aspirations and expectations of their work and their personal lives as opportunities emerge and social relations may be renegotiated. This paper reports on personal interviews with a sample of Nepalese women in a diverse range of personal circumstances. To provide a framework of analysis for the interviews, the Hofstedian approach to the exploration of cultures has been employed. By examining the findings against the background of the dimensions of masculinity, power distance, individualism, uncertainty avoidance and long-term commitment, it is possible to discern the causes and effects of change in Nepalese society and, in particular, gender relations.

Keywords: gender relations, globalization, Hofstede, Nepal

Reema Thakur and John Walsh

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