It is natural for human beings to flee the place where they feel threatened or persecuted in search of more secure safe havens. But it is highly unusual for those who have fled a place as victims of exploitation and abuse to want to go back. Yet this is exactly what most of the 37 Nepali female migrant workers stranded in Beirut, Lebanon who were brought back to Kathmandu on Monday want. Most of them were fleeing either unbearable house owners who subjected them to constant physical and/or physiological torture, or equally commonly, paid far less than was initially promised. Interestingly, it was only in 2010 that the government lifted a 12-year-ban on employment of Nepali women in Gulf countries. But it was again forced into a rethink when incidents of physical and sexual exploitation of young Nepali women working abroad started to go up dramatically. It then settled on a novel idea: why not bar all Nepali women under 30 from working as domestic workers in destinations with bad records for protection of women’s rights like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and UAE? The hope was that older women would be less likely to be sexually exploited, and ‘mature’ women more amenable to making judicious employment decisions.
Yet the picture was far too complicated for the feasibility of such a seemingly straightforward solution. Women rights activists immediately started lobbying for lifting of the ‘arbitrary’ 30-year rule. They do have a strong point when they argue that most of the ‘underage’ women who want to work abroad do so anyway, by sneaking into India and from then to various Gulf destinations with the help of unscrupulous middlemen who charge high rates. Nor is it clear that imposing the age bar has had any kind of significant impact on lowering instances of sexual exploitation of Nepali women abroad. The age ban makes even less sense when one considers that the majority of birth dates mentioned in passports are faked anyway, arranged just so that the workers fall within the ideal age bracket of would-be employers. Moreover, there is a strong moral question too: if there are no restrictions on men, why shackle the equally capable women with onerous rules?
The world celebrated International Day of Forests on March 21, 2014 with the objective to raise awareness on sustainable development of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generations. Nepal celebrated the day by planting trees in the premises of Botanical Garden Godavari, Lalitpur. Planting indigenous and threatened species is a key to conserving biodiversity.
In-situ conservation plants in the Midhills are urgent. Establishment of protected area system (PAS) in the Midhills zone is not justifiable, because forests exist in the zone that is almost handed over to the community forest user groups. Hence, biodiversity conservation outcomes must be achieved through the mobilization of users with an appropriate planning and silviculture management.
The protracted transition and the excuses our bureaucrats and politicians have learned to make in its name are starting to take a heavy toll on people’s wellbeing.
These days any deficiency in service delivery tends to be brushed aside, as we are repeatedly told that all will be taken care of once the all-important constitution is in place. But delivering proper essential services, especially those that involve life and death decisions, cannot wait for a constitution. Republica has recently uncovered that millions of rupees worth of essential medicines procured by the government to deliver free of cost to the people are now rotting in warehouses around the country. Currently, the government buys around Rs 6.5 billion worth of essential medicines, primarily from foreign manufacturers.
What factor contributes to economic growth? Of course, the list could consist of things like saving ratio, consumption, capital accumulation, interest rate, population growth, technology, human resources, oil price, geographical factors, level of innovation and inventions. But although these are some determining factors of growth, they are only a necessary, not sufficient condition to provide impetus to economic growth. Sustainable economic growth can be achieved only if the economy and society adopt growth promoting non-economic factors. In this article, I will try to briefly talk about these factors.
The authors conclude that good governance is not only critical to economic development but also important in determining whether a country has the capacity to use its resources effectively to promote growth and reduce poverty. Thus, good governance is a key to faster economic growth.