Manthali, June 25
A group of single (widowed) women of Ramechhap broke the age-old social taboo, which often barred them to take part in all forms of social activities.
A group of 51 single women went against the prevailing tradition by wearing crimson clothes, bangles and red tika, which, according to the Hindu tradtion, are the domain of the women who have not widowed.
Amidst a programme organised by Single Women Group of Ramechhap here on Sunday, Devi Poudel, a single woman, wrapped shawsl and put red tika on their forehead.
Prohibiting widowed women from wearing red clothes, accessories was a hegemonic practice enforced by the Nepali patriarchal culture for dominating the female members of the society, the Group declared.
Devi Poudel, 60, of Tiplung, who lost her husband around year ago, put on red tika on her forehead at the programme.
Sharing her experience, Poudel said she had never thought of wearing red clothes and accessories after the death of her husband.
Khadga Kumari Khatri, 70, of Khimti VDC, said she also thought after the death of her husband she would have to pass her life without wearing crimson clothes and accessories such as glass bangles and others.
However, the situation of the single women has changed after the Women for Human Rights, Single Women Group, Ramechhap organised a campaign to alter the prevailing wrong social perception towards the single women. .
Expressing her gratitude toward the Group, Khatri said after wearing red cloths and tika she felt like a bride. She vividly remembers the day when she got married with her husband around 60 years ago, she added.
Wiping her tears, she said she is so happy to wear red colors as she was prohibited to wear red clothes and accessories after her husband died.
She said after the death of her husband people used to say her that real worth of a woman ends along with the death of her husband.
Chairperson of single women Group, Pramila Sapkota, said that the Nepali society was had been obstructing the widows being self-dependent through different ruses. The red colour signifies confidence and self-dependency of women, she said.
Stating that the single women are still facing social stigma, she said that the single women were victimised by the inhuman cultural practices, ill practice and restrictions.