Gender discrimination in Nepal: Does it vary across socio-demographics?

Anil Kumar Gupta



Faculty of Social Sciences

Nepal Administrative Staff College

Anil Kumar Gupta is a Deputy Director of Studies at Nepal Administrative Staff College. He obtained an M.Phil. in Development Studies from the Kathmandu University in 2018. He also holds an MA in Population Studies, and a Master of Education in Population Education from Tribhuwan


Gender discrimination in Nepal is perceived differently by different socio-demographics background groups, and some socio-demographics background group have lack awareness that they are being discriminated against.

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Key Findings

    How to apply research

    • The government and community based organizations need to consider the different levels of reporting when understanding the prevalence of gender discrimination. They need to look at which demographics are underreporting gender discrimination and target these areas with awareness programs to increase reporting.
    • The Women’s Commission, local government organisations and community based organizations need to protect rural and older women to ensure gender justice through policy, planand programmes.
    • How parents choose to socialise and educate their children is a contributing factor to upholding the patriarchy and enabling gender discrimination. Changing children’s perception of gender through gender socialization could be an effective way to eradicate gender discrimination at its root cause

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    About this research

    This research was independently conducted and did not receive funding from outside of the university.

    Recommended for

    About this research

    This research was independently conducted and did not receive funding from outside of the university.

    Recommended for

    What findings means

    This research aimed to understand how far the Nepalese population believe gender discrimination exists within society, and how the perception of gender discrimination then differs across each socio-demographics. It found that gender, age, urban/rural, education, and economic status all have an impact on gender discrimination in Nepal.

    This research found that female respondents were 2.38 times more likely than men to report having experienced or seen a family member experience gender discrimination in the past 12 months.

    Women in rural areas, where more traditional norms and values are still practiced, were 1.17 more likely to encounter gender discrimination compared with urban areas. In the last 12 months, one in every four young women had been physically assaulted, and have witnessed 3.3 per cent more physical violence than in urban settings. This means that women who resided in a rural community were more likely to experience gender-based violence than women in urban settings.
    Despite reporting experiences that can be described as gender discrimination, there was a significant lack of awareness of whether gender discrimination exists between the persons residing in rural settings, compared with persons residing in urban settings. This is likely because of the higher education-levels within urban area populations, than those residing in rural areas who do not perceive gender discrimination as a serious an issue. A lack of awareness means some women takes gender discrimination as a normal course of action, and do not then seek support or speak to someone to prevent or end gender-based abuse publicly.

    Citizens aged 25-39 years are more likely to report the experiences of gender-based discrimination compared to those 18-24, while those over 35 were even less likely to report experiences of gender-based discrimination. There was a significant lack of gender based awareness measured by women over the age of 39 and living in rural areas. This might be that the age group of 25-39 are a more educated and more critical demographic than older age groups. There is a higher awareness among this age category for the need for equality and gender justice.

    More educated women reported witnessing more gender discrimination than less educated women, and higher income women also reported more likely to experience gender-based discrimination than lower income women.


    This research was based on data collected from the 2017/2018 Nepal National Governance Survey , which was carried out by the Nepal Administrative Staff College with the technical assistance from the Central Bureau of Statistics.

    This survey sampled and interviewed 12872 Nepali adults aged over 18 years and across 43 districts in Nepal, using four-stage multiple cluster sampling designs. The sample size was 47.7% male and 52.3% female. 53.5% lived in an urban setting and 46.5% lived in a rural setting.

    The survey asked the question: “In your experience, did you or your family members experience gender-based discrimination in the past 12 months?”, and their choices were “frequently”, “sometimes”, “never” and “don’t know”. Yet those who answered “don’t know” were not included in the analysis, reducing the number of respondents to 12767 individuals.

    The research then made a logistic regression to create a model of prediction.

    One of the limitations of this research is that some assumptions are drawn as to why these differences exist, but the qualitative aspect is missing beyond logical reasoning (eg urban women are statistically more educated than rural women). Analysis is based on perception of Nepali citizens


    Gender discriminationGender discrimination was defined as an observable behaviour that was interpreted as an unfair treatment based on the recipient’s gender. It is any partial or full bias towards women. But the level of its seriousness can be perception based.

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    Want to read the full paper? It is available open access

    Kumar Gupta, Anil. (2021) ‘Gender discrimination in Nepal: Does it vary across socio-demographics?’, Journal of Contemporary Sociological Issues (1:2), pp.61-82.