For over a decade ActionAid has been breaking down barriers in communities around Nepal. Home to the breathtaking Himalayas, it is also one of the most disaster prone countries in the world with deep rooted patriarchal norms and structures that entrench poverty and inequality.
Thanks to supporters, the last 10 years have been monumental for women in Nepal. They are leaders in their communities and are driving critical change throughout the country.
We’ve achieved over 10 years of change through:
Establishing women community groups
“I grew up believing that women should be isolated during their menstruation. Being a member of the women’s group changed my life.”– Tara, member of an ActionAid women’s group
ActionAid-supported women’s groups in Western Nepal have helped prevent patriarchal practices like ‘chhaupadi’, which banishes women from their homes after they’ve given birth and when menstruating. This practice has caused the deaths of women forced to live in separate huts and cow sheds, leaving them vulnerable to infection and animal attacks. Through the groups, more than 1,400 women have stopped practicing this custom. ActionAid and its partners have also helped to establish at least over 10 ‘chhaupadi free’ communities in Western Nepal.
Driving women’s independence
“Through the ActionAid agricultural group I got many opportunities…by selling the seeds I do not have to worry about my family’s basic needs.” – Janasara, Farmer from Bajura
Women in Nepal are often restricted to household work and denied access to property, which leaves them reliant on their husbands for basic necessities. To combat this, ActionAid has supported the women-led Equality Development Centre (EDC) in Nepal. As a result, over 20 agricultural groups have gained vegetable farming training, climate adaption farming skills and land ownership certificates, enabling women to increase their independence and their ability to live a life of dignity.
Standing in solidarity with women leading responses to emergencies
“The women were happy in the safe spaces, they say they learned a lot and it healed their trauma…. The women are now taking a lead on the reconstruction work”. – Malati, ActionAid Nepal Women’s Rights Officer
Nepal is prone to disasters like earthquakes, floods and landslides. In the 2015 earthquake, more than 8,000 people died and many more were injured. In the aftermath of the earthquake, ActionAid helped set up 30 Women Friendly Spaces, where women could safely access services and understand their rights. Now these Women Friendly Spaces have become a place where women discuss how they would like to reshape their communities, and are encouraged to take on active leadership roles and claim their rights.