|Day 3: 26 July (Friday)|
9 – 10:30 am
|Chair: Steven Folmar, Assistant Professor Cultural/Applied Anthropology, Wake Forest University|
Junior Research Fellow, Nepā
School of Social Sciences and Humanities
|History and Political Movements: Kipat in Today’s Limbuwan Movement|
PhD Candidate, Human Ecology,
LUCID Research Centre, Lund University, Sweden
|The Embodiments of Ice and Bone: Dualistic Ideologies, ‘Permanence Through Certainty’, and The Phenomenology of Being of Dolpo|
|Discussant: Ajaya N Mali, Tutor,
Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities
|BREAK: 10:30 – 11 am|
11 am – 1 pm
|Chair: Kathryn March, Professor of Anthropology
and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies
and Asian Studies, Cornell University
Senior Research Associate, University
College London Institute for Global Health,
University College London
|Who Participates?: Examining Socio-demographic Differences in a Community Mobilisation Intervention to Improve Maternal and Newborn Survival in Dhanusha and Makwanpur Districts|
|Vikas Paudel, Dharma S Manandhar,
Bhim P Shrestha
Mother and Infant Research Activities
(MIRA), Kathmandu, Nepal
Naomi Saville, Joanna Morrison,
UCL Institute for Global Health,
|Understanding Nutritional Behaviour of Pregnant and Postpartum Women in Dhanusha District, Nepal|
|Dhruba Bahadur Khatri
M. Phil. Fellow and Teaching Assistant,
Department of Geography and
Population Studies, PN Campus, Pokhara
|Determinants of Intimate Partner Violence against Women in Pokhara, Nepal|
|Discussant: Amanda Snellinger,
Postdoctoral Research Associate,
School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford
|Closing remarks:Michael Hutt, Chair, Britain-Nepal Academic Council|
|LUNCH: 1 – 2 pm|
2:30 – 4:30 pm
|Moderator: David Gellner, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Oxford|
Former Vice-Chair, National Planning Commission and former Professor of Geography, Tribhuvan University
|Strategic Plan for the Proposed Social Science Research Council in Nepal|
|Comments by: Kathryn S March, Professor of Anthropology and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Asian Studies, Cornell University & Pratyoush Onta, Chairperson, Martin Chautari and Member, Social Science Baha|
History and Political Movements: Kipat in Today’s Limbuwan Movement
Pauline Limbu, Junior Research Fellow, Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: One of the major challenges around state restructuring in Nepal is to address the aspirations of movements demanding so-called identity-based federal states. This paper provides one example to show how current claims about history and federal states are situating themselves in a shared understanding of territory and land.
I will look into the current Limbuwan movement’s demand for an autonomous Limbuwan federal state, through an analysis of the Limbuwan movement’s territorial claims based on readings of history. I will reference the recent history of Limbus related to land – in particular the kipat system that legally existed until the 1960s and practically until the completion of cadastral survey in 1990s. I argue that kipat is important to the movement because it denotes continuity of the groups’ autonomy over their ancestral land. It connects what existed before Limbu territory was incorporated into the Gorkha kingdom, and also that which survived to an extent as kipat until the latter’s abolishment. Therefore, I will attempt to show that kipat is more than a relic of their customary system of land management and that the Limbuwan movement has attempted to re-establish the community’s link with their territory, though in a different form.
This paper will focus on the existence of kipat and its political use today while also taking into consideration the wider debates on kipat [e.g. Caplan (1970), Sagant (2008), Chemjong (1967)], acknowledging that the system underwent changes by the time of its abolishment. In the paper, I will try to explore such questions as: How and why has the Limbuwan movement built a case for the need to use history? How does the kipat, particularly when it has reportedly been an issue of conflict among the settlers of the territorial group, affect the projection of history itself in the movement? How do Limbuwan leaders consider the history of kipat as having affected their movement, their demands, claims, and strength?
Because the paper focuses on the history of territory and autonomy and its connection with the present claims that entwines the two, I plan to test the applicability of Maurice Godelier’s theory in the Nepali context. He suggested territory to be the basis of society formation and he explains the importance of laying claim and control over resources within a territory. He argues that when a group residing in a territory has sovereignty over it, forming an overarching identity, a society is formed. I intend to build on my previous research on the impact of kipat abolishment on the Limbus. In addition, I will use interviews with leaders of current major Limbuwan political parties and incorporate an analysis of their manifestos as well as activities. I will also consider the Interim Statute of Limbuwan prepared by the Samyukta Limbuwan Morcha (forum of Limbuwan political organisations) and the proposed sketch of the Limbuwan Autonomous State prepared by Kirat Yakthung Chumlung (a Limbu cultural organization).
The Embodiments of Ice and Bone: Dualistic Ideologies, ‘Permanence Through Certainty’, and The Phenomenology of Being of Dolpo
Gregory Pierce, PhD Candidate, Human Ecology, LUCID Research Centre, Lund University, Sweden
Abstract: For at least one thousand years, the Dolpo-pa, the people of Dolpo, an enclave of culturally Tibetan transhumant agro-pastoralists dwelling through the high Himalayas of Midwestern Nepal, have caravanned ware-laden yak over the high passes and through the barren valleys of their mountain homeland. Masters of the salt-for-grain circuit of trade between the Tibetan Plateau and the Gangian Plains, in moving through those unforgiving lands Dolpo-pa herders have, through the centuries, been confronted by a range of natural hazards—landslides, avalanches, flash floods, earthquakes, etc. Yet, as argued in this paper, the Dolpo-pa are not ‘vulnerable’. Nor are they ‘resilient’, at ‘risk’, or possessive of ‘adaptive capacity’. These, among other buzzwords common in hazard and disaster studies, take the individual as an explicit centre of consciousness somehow detached from and prior to the embodied experience of being in ‘a’ world. In contrast, as data from anthropological research conducted in Dolpo in the fall of 2010 suggests, the Dolpo-pa tend not to see themselves as being so ontologically detached in being the people of Dolpo. Instead, this research suggests that they tend to see themselves in interconnection with their life worlds very much as existential phenomenologists have described, as ‘body-subjects’ whose sentient knowledge always precedes conscious knowledge in their being ecologically continuous with yet separate in their own identities from the many other surfaces that compose those processes of flux that ever is the world. This distinction between contiguous and detached identity, drawn from ecofeminist theory, is important. Representing Dolpo-pa identity as being (relish the ambiguity) circumscribed by those analytical buzzwords instead of as being thus embodied belies the ongoing process by which identity is constituted within an appropriative reflexivity between the structural dissipations of the natural organism and the continuity of, as Merleau-Ponty identified, the ‘historical idea’ of semiotic possibilities that are actively emplaced through that process of embodiment. In this way, characterising the experience of embodiment as a process of being of ‘a’, and not of ‘the’, world is quite significant. It suggests that this process continually constitutes an experience of being ‘situated’ as situated being, a being that emerges so emplaced in being constitutive of ‘a’ world enfolded within that process of identity formation that is ever continuous with the active experience of self-consciousness objectifying itself in becoming aware of (its) being what is known to itself, in being (itself). In this way, identity for the Dolpo-pa can be said to be inadequately represented by the common buzzwords of disaster and hazards studies because Dolpo-pa herders actively embody the semiotic possibilities of culture and history as dynamic body-subjects situated within the karmic tangle in being of (not ‘of being in’) Dolpo. As such, they confront even as they are confronted by that range of hazards that also move—ontologically both as and through—those unforgiving lands that have ever been only illusorily separable from the reflexive continuity of non-reductionist being, at all times ecologically quickened apace with the constitutive embodiment of agencies cast relational over time and space.
Who Participates?: Examining Socio-demographic Differences in a Community Mobilisation Intervention to Improve Maternal and Newborn Survival in Dhanusha and Makwanpur Districts
Joanna Morrison, Senior Research Associate, University College London Institute for Global Health, University College London
Abstract: Progress towards the MDGs has been highly uneven. Inequalities in maternal and child health and health care are huge. To make things worse, effective interventions are known, but rarely reach those who need them most. Little is known about what works, and why, to reach lower socio-economic and otherwise vulnerable groups with health interventions. We examined the extent to which our maternal and child health focused intervention has affected women from different socioeconomic and socio-demographic positions. Specifically, we examined attendance at the women’s group meetings, paying particular attention to attendance by poor, less educated and young primigravida women. We also explored barriers and facilitators for attendance among different social strata.
We used population surveillance data from two cluster randomised control trials conducted in Dhanusha and Makwanpur Districts. Trials had tested the impact of participatory women’s groups on neonatal mortality. We completed a site-specific analysis of attendance at women’s groups by socio-economic and socio-demographic position. On the basis of this analysis we purposively sampled women who attended groups, women who did not attend groups, community key informants, family decision makers, and facilitators of women’s groups, to help us explain our quantitative analysis.
From our quantitative analyses, we found that young primigravida women were less likely to attend the women’s groups across both sites. Attendance was similar across lower and higher socio-economic strata, and where there was a difference, we found that attendance was higher among women of mid to low socioeconomic status compared to the better-off women, in particular the socio-economic elite. Caste and ethnicity affected attendance in Dhanusha, with lower participation of the higher status groups. Our qualitative data collection shows that one of the main factors affecting group attendance was the extent of family support that women experienced. Social taboos about the movement of young newly married women outside the home affected their access to groups.
Although direct participation in women’s groups is not the only way to be affected by this community based intervention, it is important to ascertain the accessibility of interventions to the poorest, most marginalised groups. It appears that a participatory intervention with women’s groups is successful in including mid and low socioeconomic status groups in different countries, yet future interventions may be modified to encourage the participation of younger women.
Understanding Nutritional Behaviour of Pregnant and Postpartum Women in Dhanusha District, Nepal
Vikas Paudel, Dharma S Manandhar, Bhim P Shrestha, Mother and Infant Research Activities (MIRA), Kathmandu, Nepal; Naomi Saville, Joanna Morrison, Kristen Ormston, UCL Institute for Global Health, London, UK
Abstract: Poor nutrition is believed to be the underlying cause of 35-50% of all child deaths, and 20% of maternal deaths. It is also a large contributor to ill-health in these groups. Dhanusha district in Nepal suffers from particularly poor nutritional outcomes, contributing to high maternal and child mortality rates. 40.7% of reproductive age women have low body mass, and 43% are iron-deficient. While children under two years have high levels of anaemia, stunting, wasting, 37.2% of them are also underweight.
Traditional food beliefs and practices in pregnancy and postpartum could further exacerbate under-nutrition, with additional negative impacts on neonatal and maternal outcomes. Hence, we sought to understand the local context and prevailing beliefs about food and to explore the underlying social, economic, and cultural determinants of food beliefs, and mechanisms for change.
Over four years, prospective quantitative data were collected from 16,265 postpartum women regarding pregnancy and postpartum food behaviours. This was complemented by 11 focus group discussions with women from varying backgrounds and their experience of pregnancy in Dhanusha district, in order to explore reasons behind behaviours. This analysis was supported with a field visit to understand the context, as well as five semi-structured interviews with local female NGO staff in order to clarify the findings from the discussions. Statistical analysis was performed using Stata/SE version 12.1. Transcripts were indexed using N-Vivo software, and data was rearranged into charts by thematic content.
We discovered a marked secular decline in avoidance of foods, under eating, and fasting during pregnancy, but an increase in postpartum food taboos over these four years. Logistic regression showed an association of food taboos and under eating in pregnancy with food insecurity, low asset scores, lower BMI, primigravidity, and younger age. Our data showed that traditional eating practices are higher in people from the plains than the hills, but other differences between ethnic groups were less significant. Qualitative research revealed that some women under eat during pregnancy because they fear a difficult delivery and are worried that food takes up space, and therefore there is less growing space for the baby. Other reasons commonly mentioned by respondents included affordability of food, physical discomfort, and the requirement of continuing physical work during pregnancy. Although women seem to have more control over their food intake during pregnancy, traditional practices in the early postpartum period ensure that food intake remains predominantly under the control of others such as the mother-in-law.
Traditional eating behaviours, although entrenched in culture, are not obstinate and can change significantly over time, depending on various factors like economic status, food security, access to media, education, and ultimately empowerment. Despite this, there are still vulnerable groups of women who are more likely to continue traditional eating practices in pregnancy, including poorer, more food insecure, younger, and more undernourished women.
Determinants of Intimate Partner Violence against Women in Pokhara, Nepal
Dhruba Bahadur Khatri, M. Phil. Fellow and Teaching Assistant, Department of Geography and Population Studies, PN Campus, Pokhara
Abstract: Intimate partner violence (IPV), a form of domestic or gender-based violence (GBV), includes acts of physical aggression, psychological abuse, forced intercourse, and other forms of sexual coercion, and various controlling behaviors. Although IPV is a widespread and deeply rooted problem, it receives limited public attention in Nepal mainly because domestic violence (DV) is seen here as a private family affair, and intervention by outsiders is disapproved. Few studies have been done on this field but do not provide sufficient information. The main objective of the study was to therefore characterise the present state of physical, sexual, and psychological violence and identify their demographic, socio-economic, and individual/personal determinants. The study was carried out on behalf of Social Inclusion Research Center (SIRC), Pokhara from September 2011 to March 2012.
360 women of reproductive age (15-49), chosen by using multistage sampling were interviewed by same sex interviewers. The interview schedule was prepared as recommended by the World Health Organization. Responses were coded and entered into SPSS software. Univariate analysis was done to describe sample characteristics and incidence of IPV. In addition, bivariate analysis (Chi Square Test) was performed to assess whether demographic, socio-economic, and individual factors are associated with physical, sexual, and psychological violence. Furthermore, in-depth interview was conducted with 18 women to acquire qualitative data.
Of the total women (N=360), 43.9% physically, 51.7% sexually and 61.7% were psychologically abused by their partners/husbands. At least three in four women had received at least one type of violence in their lifetime. Of demographic/household factors, age, number of children, and place of residence were significantly associated with at least one type of IPV. Women falling in the age range of 25-34 and women having two or less children were more likely to be sexually abused. Of socio-economic variables, caste/ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, and autonomy level determined the incidence of IPV. Particularly, women from low economic status and Dalit community were more likely to be victims of physical violence. Almost equal numbers of women with low and high educational status faced IPV. Moreover, high autonomy was also associated with sexual and psychological violence. High significant association was observed between individual/personal factors and IPV. The women whose partners’/husbands’ occupation was driver/contractor were more likely to be physically, sexually, and psychologically abused. Similarly, those women whose partners use alcohol, build relationship with other women, and have aggressive nature were also at high risk of physical, sexual, and psychological assaults.
A high proportion of women were therefore physically, sexually, and psychologically abused by their partners/husbands. Women of age 24-34, those with few children, or from Dalit communities and low socio-economic status were more vulnerable. Use of alcohol, extramarital relationship, and aggressive nature of husband contributed significantly to the incidence of IPV. Individual/personal factors had stronger effect on IPV compared to demographic/household factors and socio-economic factors.
Strategic Plan for the Proposed Social Science Research Council in Nepal
Pitamber Sharma, Former Vice-Chair, National Planning Commission and former Professor of Geography, Tribhuvan University
Abstract: In 2012, a three-member team consisting of Pitamber Sharma, Bal Gopal Baidya and Dwarika Nath Dhungel was commissioned by the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare to prepare a comprehensive strategic plan document of a Social Science Research Council (SSRC) in Nepal, which would serve as ‘an apex institution devoted to the promotion and support of quality research in the social sciences’. The team was mandated to prepare a situation analysis that would include: i) an overview of the policy, social and political context that identifies all the stakeholders, the state of art of social sciences in Nepal and concrete lessons or practices that needs to be mainstreamed; ii) a strategic plan consisting of an overview of the vision, mission, values, goals and objectives of the proposed SSRC; and iii) an institutional development plan. The report was completed in December 2012.