The tyrants of our past treated the culture of literacy and learning, reading and writing, as dangerous. For women, too, participating in progress and democracy meant in the first place being literate, having opinions, and becoming part of the world of letters.
Women’s education is an important part of feminist history, perhaps even the most important for the quiet and dramatic ways in which it transformed everyday life. To pursue education, Nepali women had to go against the common wisdom that saw girls’ education as an aberration, a waste, or even a threat to social order.
Feminist pioneers in Nepal all emphasised education as the key to overcoming women’s subjugated position in society. From the middle of the 20th century, circumstances began to change and women started attending schools and colleges in ever-growing numbers. Teaching in schools also became the most significant route for women to begin their professional lives. This series brings together some glimpses of the past that capture the outward surge of girls and women through the life of study and learning. It also shows how schools uniquely fomented a collective experience for women.
These images are part of the ongoing Feminist Memory Project, which were under exhibition during Photo Kathmandu.