Educating a Girl Is like Repairing Someone Else's Wall: Assessing Women's Motivation for Attending Secondary School in Kathmandu, Nepal
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Women in Nepal face numerous cultural and social constraints. Lately, a number of women's secondary schools have opened in Nepal and women are attending these schools irrespective of the challenges they face. Using in-depth interviews with 35 married women students who have completed their secondary education or who are still pursuing their secondary education in Utprerana Women Secondary School, the study assesses women�s motivation to receive education. Furthermore, it examines various influences and changes in social capital as women started their education. The study finds four salient factors motivating these women: a desire to master functional literacy; grown-up children and availability of unstructured time; their love for learning; and wish to have employment opportunities. Women feel empowered as they start attending education. Further, education is helping to enhance physical, mental, social and financial wellbeing. Respondents note enhanced knowledge and skills on the use of technologies. This study identifies numerous forms of social capital influencing women�s access to education; a nuclear family is more advantageous for women continuing secondary education. However, women experience ridicule from their extended family, friends and neighbors. Women are able to expand their social capital after coming to the school refine their bonding social capital by preserving their closest relationships and sacrificing their weaker relationships. Bonding social capital marginally declined as women start to pursue education, though they continuously struggle to maintain it. Additionally, women are able to increase their stock of bridging social capital by establishing relationships with teachers and classmates.
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