Nepal Considers Banning Women from Travelling Abroad

Nepal Considers Banning Women from Travelling Abroad
Travelling alone is still just a dream for many women, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In a controversial new law proposed by Nepal’s Department of Immigration, women may have to seek permission from family members in order to travel abroad

OT Staff
February 22 , 2021
02 Min Read

It seems to be the 'age of patriarchy' in several countries these days. Consider Nepal where the country’s immigration department has decided to propose a new law wherein women under 40 would need permission from the local government and her family (read, male member) to travel abroad.

According to government officials, the law has been proposed to stop human trafficking of women and young girls.

Understandably, ever since the announcement, protests have broken out across the country. People have come out on Kathmandu streets against the law, calling it regressive. They have taken to Twitter against what they say is a misogynistic law. 

Experts say that instead of denying a woman her right to leave the country by bringing in a draconian law, the government should bring in better regulations and provide timely protection services when abuses occur.

This is yet another in a long list of rules that are introduced to supposedly 'keep women safe'. It brings to mind some Indian cities where authorities suggest that women should not step out after a certain time at night 'for their own safety'.   

READ: How Women Walk the City

READ: 7 Travel Companies Run By Women 

Nepal's government officials have tried to justify their decision by saying the law is yet to be finalised and it is only for the vulnerable part of the community.

But people are not buying it.

The executive director at Women Lead Nepal, Hima Bista spoke against the law, saying, “What is extremely dangerous is the thought process behind the making of the rule. The very fact that the policymakers are thinking about drafting such a law, restricting the movement of adult girls and women tells us how deep-rooted the patriarchal mindset is.”

Similarly, Ila Sharma, Former Election Commissioner said, the government officials should strive to empower women, emigrant laborers, and the workforce, instead of making such ridiculous laws.

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