A platform for voices supporting women's rights
…the women seem confident, their body movements less heavy…They have a vision of a better future that comes through in the edge to their words…Their faith in this revolution gives them a physical confidence… (Onesto, 2004).
This is an example of pro-Maoist literature that implies an inherent commitment to female empowerment within the Maoist movement in Nepal. I am intrigued by statements implying such a social transformation for women in the Maoists achieving their political goal, especially in a country that has such deeply ingrained patriarchal values.
For thousands of women who fled their homes to join the Maoists ranks to fight for a more gender equal future, how committed are the Maoists to become drivers of change. Now the country is officially at peace, thousands of trained, armed and expectant women are awaiting the freedoms that they believe were promised to them and the stability of post-conflict Nepal could be brought into jeopardy if women are not accurately and thoughtfully addressed. As a result, in the Maoists claiming female prosperity is “woven” into their ambitions, they have seemingly tied the liberation of women to the stability of post-conflict Nepal.
Maoist claims to female representation during the civil war tended to cross both legal frameworks and on the ground action. From anti-alcohol and literacy campaigns, to gendered terminology and labour roles, a very strong and well publicised discourse emerged from the Maoist camp regarding the “oppressed Nepali Woman”.