Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
The pursuit of happiness, Himal Khabarpatrika



Saraswati Magar, 35, of Ramghat, Pokhara had paid half a million rupees to a middleman for a fake marriage with a South Korean man, who is 20 years her senior. She has been living with him in Chanju for the past two years. "I was told that I would be free once I landed in Korea but I am forced to live with a man my father's age," she says.

Magar's husband neither pays her nor allows her to work outside the home. She is just a wife to him. Now he wants her to give him a baby. If she refuses, he will not sign the necessary documents and Magar might end up behind bars.

Kamala Neupane, 26, of Ratmate, Pokhara and Nilam KC, 28 of Manthali in Ramechhap also share the same plight. "The middleman had assured me that the paper work was just a formality and I could work freely here. But the day I arrived here, I realised that I was sold just like Nepali girls are trafficked to brothels in Mumbai," she told Himal Khabarpatrika. KC currently lives with her elderly Korean husband in Iksan. She had paid Rs 700,000 to a middleman thinking it was a fake marriage.

All three women understood the mess they were in only after they landed in Korea and were forced to work as bonded labourers. More than 1,000 Nepali women have married Koreans to gain entry into the country. However, the Nepali embassy in Seoul only has recorded 300 such women. Many of the women are physically assaulted by their husbands, but have no legal recourse and are left to suffer in silence.

According to Korean law, foreign women are eligible to receive marriage certificates within three months of their stay. They don't need work permits, but need their husbands' approvals every six months for visa extensions. The South Korean men many of whom are above 50 years, and either divorced or separated, want to marry Nepali women because they can easily use them as domestic help and free labourers.



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LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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