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Title: Women Snacks Vendors in Kathmandu: Micro Enterprisesand Their Livelihood
Authors: Thapa, Sheela
Keywords: Women employers;Snacks;Micro enterprises
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Department of Geography
Institute Name: Central Department of Geography
Level: Masters
Abstract: The patriarchal social system of Nepal has provided a basis in which women generally have lessaccess to income, wealth and modern avenues of employment, education and wealth facilitiesthan men. They have low social, economic, cultural, political and legal status in comparison tomen. In this situation women have encouraged themselves to come out from the home andinteract with outer world and have been engaged in microenterprises i.e. informal sector.Manypoor women in urban areas have adopted snack selling as a main way of earning livelihood andstruggling with lowquality of survival. In this context, present study attempts to explore thelivelihood of women snack vendor (WSVs) in Kathmandu. Particularly, this study examines thesocial impact of informal economy, level of income generation, problem and prospects andinstitutional support of WSVs in Kathmandu. The analysis is based on field survey of 52 WSVs that were collected from different localities ofKathmandu Metropolitan Citymainly transportation junction, commercial zone, institutionalzone and monumentalzone, so that it can represent the whole women snack vendors at this area.Primary data were collected in a fifteen days field work in December, 2009.The primary datawere collected using various tools and methods, which includes reconnaissance survey,questionnaire surveys (Women enterprises survey), key informant interviews (organizationsurvey), case studies with WSVs and the interview with customers who were buying from thestreet vendors and the pedestrians. Secondary data and information were collected frompublished and unpublished documents. Related books, journals, newspapers as well as thesiswere the major sources which were obtained from government and non governmentorganizationsand library of various institutions. Internet was other importantsource of the study. Rural poor women come to urban area to search employment.While collecting data on the fieldthe researcher has found 18-65 years of age women snack vendors. More than 85 percent of theWSVs are illiterate. Overwhelming majority ismigrants. Among them, most of the women feltinsecure with ill mannered people, like some boys who do not pay money having food on theirshop. And another serious problem was harassment of metropolitan police. The study findingsreveal that there is a significant change in the socio-economic status of WSVs. The informal jobhas provided a stable source of income to their family, which has an impact on socio-economicstatus
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