A woman is told to come home before dark, and definitely before her husband is home. They are often told to speak softly, and to put family obligations before work at all cost. It has never been easy to break out of those gender norms but women have never stopped trying. Today (March 8) is International Women’s Day and we take this opportunity to celebrate women’s unrelenting spirit. This special issue of The Week brings you some of the most inspiring stories of women around us.

Prominent female figures discuss their rise to power, despite blatant gender discrimination. They share stories of perseverance when everyone around them told the otherwise. Then, for a change, women talk about the men behind their successes. Our regular contributor, Gunjan Upadhyay, writes about all too pervasive gender bias. Isha Bista recounts the things she wishes her mother had told her when she was growing up. The centerspread is the result of Pratik Rayamajhi’s hard work, photographing women from different walks of life. And The Week’s reporters, Anweiti Upadhyay, Rakshya Khadka, and Urza Acharya have interviewed courageous Nepali women to bring to you their stories of strength and hope.

As we celebrate women around us, a lot needs to be done to bring women at the forefront of our system. Women are still victims of horrendous crimes and justice is often denied. We haven’t forgotten Nirmala Panta and the sad reality of our collective failure to provide her justice. We can never be satisfied with the progresses we have made when it comes to uplifting and supporting women. We hope this special issue of The Week will further strengthen your resolve to make our country a better place for women.

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