UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Men welcome more equality for women
Greater freedom, greater responsibilities taking holdWatched by her husband, Celestina Subba gives a talk in the parish of Pokhara, in mid-western Nepal, in 2009
- Chirendra Satyal, Kathmandu
- March 4, 2011
Vinod Gurung is a teacher and president of the Nepal Catholic Society. His wife is a migrant worker in the Holy Land.
â€śNepalâ€™s economy is being saved from disaster by money sent by migrant workers; many of them women. My wife is earning more money than me and that is great encouragement for our daughter in college.â€ť
Catholic musician, George Subba, also has nothing but praise for his wife, who is the general manager of a travel agency in Kathmandu.
She is dedicated to her career and considered a pioneering woman in corporate circles. She offers me lots of support and encouragement, too,â€ť he said.
This new attitude towards women has come amid recent fundamental changes in Nepal.
â€śIn the past Catholic women could have considered themselves much luckier than other Hindu women -- but Nepalâ€™s patriarchal society has been transformed along with the political scene,â€ť said Bhimsen Rai, chief catechist of the Vicariate of Nepal.
Bhimsen Raiâ€™s wife is president of the womenâ€™s group at Assumption Church in Kathmandu.
â€śSheâ€™s a great organizer and a much better fundraiser than me. Though she retired last year [as a teacher at a Catholic school] she is as active as ever.â€ť
â€śThe extended family has broken up in Nepal. In these new nuclear families the mother seems to be the head of the family,â€ť said Dr. Rabindra Khanal, a Hindu, whose wife is a parishioner at Assumption Church.
The patriarchal society is breaking up said Dr. Khanal, who is a professor in political science at the government run Tribhuwan University.
He said upcoming legislation and recent court rulings highlight this transformation.
â€śThe Constituent Assembly continues to debate and formulate non-gender-biased laws to be included in the countryâ€™s new constitution,â€ť he said.
â€śOn February 27 the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision which allowed a girl to be provided citizenship on the basis of only her motherâ€™s citizenship. Before citizenship was dependent on the father,â€ť he said.
â€śThis ruling can serve as a precedent for Nepalese mothers with foreign husbands to obtain citizenship for their children. Nepalâ€™s legal system has also recently moved ahead to provide inheritance rights for women,â€ť he added.
Along with greater freedom, comes greater responsibilities, Khanal said.
â€śWomen are being appointed to more senior positions. On March 1t Â Nepal appointed its first female Â foreign minister. This followed the appointment of over a dozen women to Foreign Service posts,â€ť Â he explained.