Reading Dr Aruna Uprety's description of her brave work in western Nepal, ("Women are dying in the far-west," #52) I am frustrated. How could humankind feel such self-hatred as to despise the womb, the origin of our own continuity? Where would all the violence of this world be without such hatred? How such self- loathing came to masquerade as the fickle wisdom of religion is perhaps the greatest spiritual mystery of them all. And it is not just the religions of far-western Nepal that are party to such farces. Gloria Steinem says progressives have to stop worrying about "being called biased or godless for opposing politics that are disguised as religion." Dr Uprety is in the graces of any self-respecting worshipper of the dignity of all forms of life.
Speaking of violence against women, ("Silent state violence," #55), what about the sexual advances made on women who travel by night buses? I speak from my experiences when travelling between Kathmandu and Kakarvitta. Once when I was repeatedly harassed by a drunk man, no Nepali brother came forward to help me. The Indian businessman who switched seats with me was a godsend. I know I am not alone-this has happened to every woman I have spoken to. Years later, I still hate thinking about those incidents. This is how women are respected and helped in Nepal.