Author: Women LEAD

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A Day in the Life of a Working Nepalese Woman

This post was written by 2016 LEADer and Women LEAD Blogger, Samika Mali Whether it is a weekday or weekend, my mom wakes up every day at 6am and sweeps the entire house. Preparing lunch every morning until 9am is a compulsion for her no matter how sick or weak she is. Then, in no time, she has to gulp down her lunch, get dressed, and rush to work. After a long day at her shop, she returns home tired and exhausted. But she doesn’t get to rest. Though her duties as a businesswoman are over, her responsibilities as a housewife have not ended yet. In the evening, she has to serve food to all her family members and do the dishes. Then, she cleans the whole kitchen. Sometimes, she even mops the floors, throw the clothes in the machine to wash, and sits down to help me with my projects. Finally, her day ends. Growing up, I saw my mother balance her life as a successful business woman in a culture where women are …

Women in Nepal.

Unequal: How Nepal’s Citizenship Laws Prevent Young Women from Achieving Their Dreams

By Bidhyalaxmi Maharjan, Women LEAD’s Communication Intern Life has never been easy for Reni.* When her father died of cancer, she took over her family shop, but it was very difficult for her family of seven to live on the shop.  Later, when an acquaintance offered her a job at a finance company, she was more than happy to get a job that paid her 7,000 rupees, or $70, a month. But she did not get the job for one reason—she was not a Nepali citizen. That was the first problem among hundreds of others Reni would go through following the death of her father. While Nepali fathers are able to pass citizenship to their children regardless of their wives’ nationality, Nepali mothers who are single or married to a foreign partner are not afforded the same right. Their children can then either live their life as a stateless person, or navigate Nepal’s complex bureaucracy in an attempt to become citizens of their country. Reni was too young to file for citizenship before her father’s …

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One Year Later, Girls’ Voices Are As Critical as Ever In Nepal’s Earthquake Recovery Efforts

This post was written by Aparna Singh, Women LEAD’s Communication and Programs Associate, and Stephanie Arzate, Research and Communications Fellow Imagine the longest fifty-six seconds of your life. This is how I remember the April 25th Earthquake that struck Nepal exactly one year ago today. That Saturday morning, I was at the Women LEAD office facilitating a workshop with around fifteen girls in our year-long leadership program when the office began to shake violently. For a mere minute, we watched as the office swayed in every direction. By 11:57 AM, we emerged from the office to find that our country had changed forever, sometimes in ways that we could never imagine. The April 25th Earthquake brought us closer to death than anything else many of us will ever experience, and unfortunately took away the lives, homes, and hopes of thousands of people. But amongst all the sorrow and pain that came from that tragic day, I remember seeing something that was truly magical. For a year, Women LEAD selects 30 high-achieving girls in the Kathmandu …

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The Hidden Story of Holi

Written by Stephanie Arzate, Research and Communications Fellow Tomorrow, on March 22nd, most Hindus in South Asia will celebrate Holi, the spring festival marking the change of seasons, and most popularly known for the throwing of bright, colorful powder. Holi is a holiday that captivates those outside of the mostly Hindu, South Asian countries that celebrate it. One doesn’t need to go far to see the fascination with, what on cameras, is truly a beautiful spectacle. Coldplay’s most recent video, “Hymn for the Weekend”, features a group of children running around the streets of Mumbai throwing colored powder in the air. While the video has been criticized for its unrealistic portrayal of the religious holiday, there is another element that is rarely discussed about Holi—it is often a time of grotesque street harassment for women and girls. “I hate Holi,” my Nepali coworker, Aparna, recently told me. “Yeah, my mother doesn’t even let me go out of the house during Holi,” my twenty-year-old intern added. I recently moved to Nepal to start a job at …

WOMEN lead Day

Inspiring Girls to Run for Parity!

Written by Stephanie Arzate The sun had barely risen when hundreds of women and girls started to arrive at the Jawalakhel Football Field just outside of Kathmandu, Nepal. It was a little before 7 a.m. and everyone had come ready to run. After weeks of planning, Women LEAD—along with their partners Higher Ground Bakery, Cycle City Network, and the Ujyalo Foundation—was finally seeing the fruits of their labor: the second annual International Women’s Day Fun Run. The Fun Run, open only to women and girls, was intended to let them “reclaim the streets” in a place where street harassment is common. The event had another purpose as well: it was a day to celebrate the achievements of women and girls, like internationally renowned runner, Mira Rai, who came to address the crowd at the end of the run. At the height of Nepal’s Civil war—and at the tender age of 14—Rai joined the Maoist rebels. She was captivated by the Guerilla’s promise to treat both women and men equally and looked up to the female …

Nepal Earthquake

Nepal Earthquake: A Personal Reflection

Post Written by: Reeti, a Women LEAD young woman leader. The following are excerpts from Reeti’s personal blog The Black Caterpillar. Reeti reflects on the current situation in Nepal and the aftermath of Saturday’s earthquake.  Reflection, Day 1 (Sunday, April 26th):  Acouple of years ago I’d written a short story and it began like this: I was standing there, strayed in the street, unnoticed amidst the crowd. My eyes were searching for something and someone. I fell down. Probably someone had pushed me. I tried to stand but somebody pushed me again so I fell really hard on the street once more. Cursing the fellow who pushed me, I finally stood up. I stretched and looked as far as I could but my family was nowhere to be seen. I did not know what to do. My eyes were wet, my heart was beating loud, my legs shaking. I did not know whether it was from nervousness or due to the shaking of the earth. Yes, the ground was literally shaking. Our city was hit by an …

WomenLEAD

Women LEAD: Summer Development Internship in Nepal

Women LEAD  empowers young women to take key leadership positions alongside men in Nepal. Women LEAD is the first and only leadership development organization for young women in Kathmandu, Nepal. Since 2011, we’ve empowered more than 400 female high school students with the skills, support and opportunities to become leaders in their schools, communities and nation. Women LEAD is looking for an excellent writer who is passionate about young women changing the world and wants to get international development experience. The Development Intern will join our team in Kathmandu for the summer (at least two months) and have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on our organizational growth and sustainability. We’re looking for self-motivated students/recent graduates who want to work in a fun, collaborative, and fast-paced environment; bring their own strengths and creativity to the position; and dive into our work on young women’s leadership development. S/he will fulfill an important role as we pursue grants and local funding for our projects and administration, providing essential research for the development of our grant prospecting and …

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Women LEAD, a volunteer’s reflection

By Megan Foo Volunteering with Women LEAD has opened my eyes to the harrowing reality that many girls in Nepal face: the reality of being denied a quality education. The initiatives I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of, be it conducting research on girls’ education in Nepal, blogging about the importance of women’s leadership, or leading our Hong Kong chapter and organizing fundraising events to provide leadership training to Women LEAD’s girl pioneers in Nepal, have reminded me of the host of deep-rooted obstacles to education equity in countries ravaged by extreme poverty. The prospect of attending school remains a distant dream for girls in Nepal, many of whom face cultural, gender-based and economic barriers to education. But more significantly, volunteering with Women LEAD has shown me the importance of leveraging the power of women. Women LEAD has adopted an enlightened philosophy: the full participation of women in schools and decision-making levels is crucial to creating peaceful and inclusive societies. Our untiring advocates, who are hellbent on fighting for gender equality and women’s leadership, work with …

The Flower House and Gals

Inspiring Women: Mira Shah’s fight for adult education in Nepal

Mira Shah has inspired us with her passion and commitment to giving all adults, whether female or male an equal opportunity to receive an education. Her journey started with hardships of her own, when she realized that she wasn’t able to complete her high school education in Nepal. Shah enrolled in a school, which allowed her to receive an education as an adult and with a few other passionate individuals, Shah opened up the Jeevan Jyoti School. Could you tell us more about the work you do and about your journey? I started working in Jajarkot at the United Mission Nepal. While I was working there, I had a problem in my family- my husband married again and brought his second wife home. After the job at UNM, I came to Kathmandu with my children. I hadn’t completed sophomore year of high school, so I joined a school named “Prerana” in Satdobato at grade 9. I took the SLC exam (grade 10 board exam) in the year 2002, with my eldest son. While I was studying …

miss-representation

Women LEAD: Skinny Mania

By Rajina Shrestha, Women LEAD alumna I interned in Women LEAD for a year, during which I learned about the misrepresentation of women in the media. I was shocked by the realization that I had never noticed it before and had ignored its effect on our daily lives. This article on skinny mania comes from seeing all the girls around me get obsessed with their weight – even kids! My 10 year old cousin is proud of herself. No, she didn’t recently win any academic or extra-curricular awards (though I should mention, she’s fabulous at both). The thing she boasts about is actually her body. I am not exaggerating when I’m saying that she probably has more bones than flesh on her tiny 3 feet tall body. I offered her a packet of chips the other day and she said, “No thanks, they’ll make me fat.” We all laughed at the time but now that I think about it, this response should really make all of us question where the next generation is heading. With …