ActionAid responded quickly to immediate needs of people in Nepal thanks to its strong local partners and networks, providing food, shelter, educational support and psycho-social support to women and children. We continue to build strength within the communities. Through our Community Led Reconstruction Programme and the promotion of women’s leadership, we support reconstruction at a community level, putting women’s voices at the centre of our work.
To date, 30 Women Friendly Spaces have been created, where women have been able to access information, support and training. In our Women Friendly Spaces women come to discuss how they would like to reshape their community, how they are faring accessing services and they are encouraged to take active leadership roles in the rebuild.
Kamala Kapali, from Kathmandu, began participating in the Women Friendly Space shortly after the 2015 earthquake. This has been an opportunity for her to build economic independence, and challenge the socially and culturally entrenched gender roles in her community.
Prior to joining the WFS, I used to think that we as women are obliged to stay home and only engage in the household chores; now I’ve realised women have every right to work outside the home as men do. We are equally capable of contributing for the income generation of our families and have the freedom to do so.
ActionAid believes that recovery from the earthquake involves more than just rebuilding homes and infrastructure. The Nepalese people are rebuilding livelihoods, social networks, emotional wellbeing and culture, as well as shaping and participating in democratic processes.
It is encouraging to see the progress that has been made, but more still needs to be done. ActionAid will continue to work with women in community-based reconstruction committees to ensure their voices are heard at local government level and by the National Reconstruction Authority of Nepal.
Together we can make a difference.