Working Women

I didn’t make a special effort to collect  pictures of Nepalese working women, they showed up as photo opportunities …time and time again…and I just took pictures. It was shocking at first to see tiny women hauling big sacks, and it continues to make me uncomfortable because I still don’t see men hauling weight very often…its nearly always women.   Quite what they are doing while the women are hauling rocks, I’m not so sure.  I suspect not so much.  After a day shifting bags of cements, many women then go back and cook, wait for their husbands and sons to eat their fill, and then eat what’s left.  The imbalance is astounding. The more I learn, the worse the picture grows.

women planting rice

Yet, despite all this, these were women were cheerful and worked as a team all day planting rice, and I was a welcome break from all the hardwork.  There were one or two guys there helping too.

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She was like a shoveling machine! (Note man watching!)


Another random street photo. That’s a 50lb bag of rice!


Hauling wood up the hill, snapped from our car.


This is probably the most poignant of all. Ten women from the Tibetan refugee camp near Pokhara were moving a mountain of gravel to a construction site. The male supervisor stood on top of the pile barking orders and poking the gravel around with a spade.

If rural working women here even knew about the western concept of women’s liberation (and the right to work), I’m sure they would find it extremely confusing. Here a 1950’s world where women stay home to only cook and clean must see like a bridge too far.