Most women in mid, far west happy with life: Report
KATHMANDU, April 5: Fifty-eight percent of women in the mid and far western regions between the ages of 15 to 49 have to live in animal sheds during their monthly periods. Nineteen percent of such women in the two regions said they are provided separate sheds for this ´chaupadi´ confinement.
A fact sheet drawn from the Nepal Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (NMICS) report launched in the capital Friday further states that early marriage is still prevalent in those regions, with 16 percent of females aged 15-49 years having gotten married before their 15th birthday and 60 percent of those 20-49 married off before they were 18.
Aimed at filling data gaps for monitoring human development in general and the situation of women and children in particular, NMICS was conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics with technical and financial support from UNICEF Nepal. It was conducted amongst 7,372 women aged 15 to 49 and 3,574 children under 5 from 6,000 households in 24 districts in the mountain, hill and plains areas of the mid and far western regions.
According to the survey report, only 5 percent of women were exposed to all three types of mass media at least once a week. They said radio is the most popular form of media followed by television and newspapers. While 49 percent listen to radio, only 29 percent and just 8 percent have access to television and newspapers respectively. Only 22 percent of women in the region said they have knowledge of HIV transmission.
The data also shows that 64 percent of infants in the two regions are exclusively breastfed for the first six months after birth.
Despite the poor condition of the people, it was quite striking that a majority said they were okay with their family life, jobs and income. For instance, 91 percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat satisfied with their family life and friendships, 83 percent with their current jobs, 81 percent with school and life in general, 80 percent with their incomes and 77 percent with their living environment.
Speaking at the function, Vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission Deependra Bahadur Kshetry said, “People living in the Karnali region get the highest per capita budget from the center, at Rs 3,800, as compared to just Rs 1,200 - 1,300 received by those living elsewhere. Such detailed and disaggregated data will help planners from the grassroots to the center ensure that development plans are responsive to the actual needs of people,” he said.
A young speaker, Alina Khanal from Kavre, who was part of the evaluation process for the child-friendly NMICS, urged policy makers to use the data to better understand development challenges in the two regions and come up with suitable plans and policies. “The publication will help policy makers better understand the real issues of the country,” said the 14-year-old.
The program was attended by a good number of children from the far and mid-western regions, among others.