International Women’s Day is celebrated with a public holiday in Nepal, however, despite this day of recognition, there are many extreme issues relating to Gender Equity in Nepal. For two weeks prior to Women’s Day our Women’s Empowerment team worked with nineteen girls from a local school to develop vision boards and to recognise successful women. This culminated with a fun Women’s Day celebration which involved all of our volunteers as well as the 50 children attending the school.
Vision Boards are a wa y of individuals or groups taking the time to think about their own skills, interests and abilities. It’s a chance to think about their role models and also their aspirations for the future and to present these thoughts, and ideas in a creative way.
Our Women’s Empowerment volunteers led by local staff member Kritika, worked with a group of 19 girls over a period of three sessions. With magazines, photos, books and the internet on hand, the Women’s Empowerment volunteers worked with the girls to think about who their role models are, con
sider women that have been significant in their lives or the lives of others and also to explore what skills and dreams they would like to develop in the future. The girls worked industriously on their projects. They found magazine pictures, quotes and information about famous women and presented it in posters all in preparation for Women’s Day.
Volunteers and all 50 students from the school joined in with the Women’s Day celebrations. They wore badges we had made to commemorate Women’s Day. The girls presented their work to the audience. Role models such as Florence Nightingale, Helen Keller, and Eleanor Roosevelt were mentioned. One of the girls talked about her mother who was her main role model. This brought a few tears to the eyes of the audience as she spoke of her mother with respect and passion.
Then in was tea time. Masala tea and a celebratory cake were well enjoyed by the group. One of the male students wrote a song and played it for the group to recognise women and their contribution to our world. This was extremely well received by the group. Then it was time to dance. Local staff member Bibek had a wonderful time teaching a dance to the Nepali hit song “Funtastic”. A very apt way of celebrating such an occasion. One of our WE volunteers also taught some Salsa before it was time for free dancing. It was certainly a celebration with 50 students, GVI volunteers and staff all hitting the dance floor for some fun celebrations. Later in the evening was movie time and Bend it Like Beckham was a popular and relevant choice.
Women’s Day can come and go without the recognition it deserves. However, our team ensured that local students both male and female were part of a well-deserved celebration. One of the girls’ posters quoted Hilary Clinton, “Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.” We will continue to educate local girls and women to ensure they are aware of this and strive to ensure they continue to take on role models, not be afraid to dream big and develop confidence in their abilities.