By Mukunda Gaire
Kathmandu, Sept. 29: Most of the women are free to go out to work only after finishing all the household chores. In a country like ours where the faulty notion that women should handle all the household chores has a strong hold in the society, working women shoulder extra work burden compared to men.
The government has put forward the discussion on giving two-day holiday a week for promoting domestic tourism.
It is said that this arrangement will promote internal tourism and provide relief to jobholder women.
However, the stakeholders are in the view that even if this arrangement gets implemented it would have little impact on the working women’s workload.
Bhavani Dahal, vice-president of the Nepal Civil Servants Association, claimed that the two-day holiday proposed by the government in order to promote domestic tourism would not be of much advantage to women.
Even though it is seen to be the personal benefit but overall it would not be of any benefit to the working women, said Dahal.
Dahal said that it was wrong to assume that women, in a country like ours would get time for sightseeing just by adding one more day of holiday.
Vice President Dahal views that there can be no other accomplishment for women other than a small housework on that added holiday.
She said that cleaning the house, taking care of the children and washing clothes are mostly done by women on Saturdays.
But she shared her experience that in the case of women engaged in social work, they have no leisure even for a single day.
Two days holidays will give time to move, and, economic activity increases
She said that some women would have some relief, “But we cannot blindly believe that the arrangement will also help in the promotion of domestic tourism as well”.
She said that the promotion of domestic tourism would be effective if the 15-day tourism holiday brought forth by the government was continued.
She, however, made it a point that extension of public holiday would add extra cost for the service recipients as people are compelled to visit the national capital for getting different services despite federal set up.
Shanta Adhikari, Secretary of the National Commission for Women, said that it is not certain that women would get sufficient time for visiting the tourist places after getting two days holiday a week.
She does not agree that increasing one day gives female employees time to roam around.
The fact that a woman is able to move around and visit places depends on the understanding and behavior of the family.
Even now jobholder women have to finish all the household chores before going to work.
Almost all women have been performing double duties- complete household works and perform job duties.
Secretary Adhikari of the commission said that the number of household chores will increase in the house where there is a family.
The official said that she did not agree that women would go for holidays and it would immediately promote women’s tourism activities.
In order to create an environment for women to travel, the government needs to make arrangements with financial assistance by making a package every year, she added.
According to Meena Gurung of the General Federation of Nepal Trade Unions (GEFONT), it would be better if the two-day public holiday is implemented.
She is confident that there will be enough time for family reunion and enough time for sightseeing, which will help in the promotion of domestic tourism.
In the case of women as well, she said that the provision of the holiday would allow time for personal activities.