The tyrants of our past treated the culture of literacy and learning, reading and writing, as dangerous. For women, too, participating in progress and democracy meant in the first place being literate, having opinions, and becoming part of the world of letters.
Women’s education is an important part of feminist history, perhaps even the most important for the quiet and dramatic ways in which it transformed everyday life. To pursue education, Nepali women had to go against the common wisdom that saw girls’ education as an aberration, a waste, or even a threat to social order.
Feminist pioneers in Nepal all emphasized education as the key to overcoming women’s subjugated position in society. From the middle of the twentieth century, circumstances began to change and women started attending schools and colleges in ever-growing numbers. Teaching in schools also became the most significant route for women to begin their professional lives. This series brings together some glimpses of the past that capture the outward surge of girls and women through the life of study and learning. It also shows how schools uniquely fomented a collective experience for women.
Date: 1975-02-24 Location: Kathmandu. Description: Girl scout on the street on Coronation day of King Birendra.
[Feature Image: Kathmandu | 1972
Sulochana Manandhar and Astalaxmi Shakya among other students of Ratna Rajya Lakshmi Girls’ College. Started in 1961, RR Campus offered classes in the Humanities and Social Sciences only in the morning shift to accommodate women with busy domestic and professional schedules.
Sulochana Manandhar Dhital Collection/Nepal Picture Library]
These images are part of the ongoing Feminist Memory Project, which were under exhibition during Photo Kathmandu.
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Kesang Tseten, in documenting these grueling stories, has done his part by successfully bringing the experience of the Nepali migrant worker to our attention, and has thus recorded history in unforgettable images.