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White Sari—Transforming Widowhood in Nepal

Yadav, P; (2016) White Sari—Transforming Widowhood in Nepal. Gender, Technology and Development , 20 (1) pp. 1-24. 10.1177/0971852415618748. Green open access

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Abstract

Before the People’s War (1996) in Nepal, widows were not allowed to wear anything other than the white sari, especially in Hindu families. It was a common practice even among highly educated women. Widows were considered impure and carriers of bad luck as a result of which they were excluded from public events, such as weddings and religious ceremonies. This belief system was deeply entrenched in the history of the country spanning thousands of years. However, when hundreds of women became widows during the People’s War in Nepal, they started organizing themselves and resisting the discriminatory practice of the white sari. This article explores how widows of Nepal subverted thousands of years of this oppressive practice. It also examines the challenges that they faced in the era of the white sari and the citizenship benefits that they have achieved after liberating themselves from the shroud of widowhood.

Type: Article
Title: White Sari—Transforming Widowhood in Nepal
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0971852415618748
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1177/0971852415618748
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: People’s war, women, war widows of Nepal, white sari, social transformation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10053408
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