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Dalit women in the Nepali labour market

This podcast explains how a Dalit woman in the Nepali labour market faces discrimination in society when she is trying to earn a living.

Labour markets are very dynamic. In addition to gender norms, other social categories such as caste or age can affect workers’ vulnerability. Despite constitutional recognition of multiple socio-cultural affiliations, caste and religion-based discrimination persists in Nepal. This has a differential impact on marginalised groups, particularly on women.

Dalit women are poor in terms of resources; for example, they have no land ownership or access to education, and they face discrimination due to the social practice of untouchability. Therefore, they have fewer options when it comes to choosing the jobs they want or the roles they would prefer in the labour market.

Like women from other ethnic groups, they are engaged in both unpaid and paid work; however, paid work options are not easily accessible due to the social practice of segregation. For Dalit women, the struggle to enter the decent labour market therefore becomes even more difficult, because institutional mechanisms are not strong enough to address this practice.