In a rather bizarre display of gender equality, women in Nepal participated in a race where they carried their husbands on their backs and ran to spread awareness about gender stereotypes.
The novel race took place at a school in Nepal’s Devghat Village Council on March 8 to mark International Women’s Day. The 100-meter race saw 16 couples across all ages participate. Images and videos of the marathon show the women with their husbands mounted on their backs, running at full throttle to win the race. Each of the couples received a certificate of participation following the event.
The event was organized by the local village council. According to its chief, Durga Bahadur Thapa, there were no monetary prizes and the that the game was to display the strength of women in comparison to men and prove that women were no less when it came to matching them in strength and stamina.
One of the participants, Pashupati Shrestha, said she was happy that women were given more “priority and respect” through the game. Speaking to ANI, Shrestha said, “I participated in this race by carrying my husband on my back. I came here with lot of courage and devotion. Although I did not manage to secure the top positions, I am happy that women are also given more priority and respect”.
The event became a show-stopper with many from neighbouring villages turning up to applaud and cheer for the women. Women touching a dead body is still a cultural taboo in Nepal.
Traditional Nepalese society imposed several restrictions and codes of conducts as well as discriminatory stereotypes on women that affected the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Nepali women. Rights for women in Nepal, however, have improved since the majority-Hindu country emerged from a decade-long conflict in 2006 and abolished its centuries-old feudal monarchy two years later.
Recently, women soldiers in Nepal made news for breaking stereotypes to work through the coronavirus pandemic by working with corpses amid the mounting crisis. (The Nepal Army had been tasked with transporting bodies of coronavirus victims across the country). Women touching a dead body is still a cultural taboo in Nepal.
(With inputs from Reuters)