Gender and Religion

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The majority of Nepalis are Hindus, and Hindu religion frames ideal behavior in the concept of religious duty, dharma, and the fruits of one's actions, karma. Whether it is respectful obedience to parents or a wife's obedience to her husband or mother-in-law, people understand that the religious valence of honor bears fruit in the form of wealth, health, fertility, prosperity, and exceptional rebirth. Gender-based behavioral differences found in religious doctrine and beliefs include premarital female virginity. High-caste women consider their husbands to be the equivalent of deities, though this is understood to mean that they should not remarry if widowed. Daughters are considered living goddesses and are worshipped at various points in the Hindu calendar. Sons carry on the Hindu patriline.

Monks and nuns exist in Buddhist communities. Buddhist ethnic minorities have been influenced over the centuries by Hinduism, but tend to have more gender equality in their religious ideology and social roles.

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