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Rampur (Palpa), January 19
A group of Muslim women from a marginalized Muslim community at Islampur in Rampur, Palpa district are advancing into various leadership roles unlike other Muslin women in other localities, thanks to the education, awareness, opportunity and family support.
These women, who are traditionally required to confine themselves to domesticity with the veil (burka) have been able to not only effect change in their lives but also in others’ lives in their surrounding.
Take Halima Khatun for instance. Involved in journalism for nearly a decade, Khatun confides that her life underwent a sea change with her involvement in media.
Khatun, the first female Muslim woman in Palpa, has not been only the voice of the voiceless, but also a torchbearer among women folks in her community for she has been advocating women’s agendas with her foray into politics for sometime.
This progressive Muslim woman argues, “The change should begin from yourself. Muslim women, who are restricted by gender roles for centuries, should not give in to the traditional notion that women’s place is in the home.”
Social activist Taslima Khatun, who is involved with women organization, including Aama Samuha, Nepal Student Union among others, credited her venture into outer world to her family, especially her supportive husband.
Taslima reveals that since she does not feel discriminated at home due to her gender, she has been able to successfully juggle household and social duties. “Family support plays an important role to advance women cause,” she opines
So is the story with Jahira Khatun who has not faced any restriction from her home to come out of the house and undertake social initiatives. She is of the confidence that Muslim women too can outperform men in all sectors provided they get education and opportunity.
Hajildin Miya, a local male member of the community, agrees that women need family support to come out of their traditional role. According to him, these few progressive Muslim women who enjoy family support have encouraged other underprivileged women in their community to educate and empower themselves for they understand the significance of women empowerment for the holistic development. RSS