Raleigh volunteers began the day with a highly engaging talk on the importance of International Women’s Day, from its roots in the women’s suffrage movement internationally, to its development into a celebration of gender equality and women’s activism. With engaging and inclusive discussions, the women of Thansing community emphasized the importance of International Women’s Day to them in uplifting the standard of women’s lives. This was followed by a women’s leadership and public speaking training session, with local women providing motivational talks on a time that they showed leadership.
Issues affecting women in Nepal were discussed including the obstacles to women’s education, misogynistic roles of women in the family, and the threat of women’s personal safety. Although it was praised that men and women earn an equal income in our community, it is men who have the agency to deal with finances and decide how that money is distributed. There was also heavy emphasis placed on the inequality of the dowry system that remains prominent in the rural areas. The dowry system describes the tradition where a bride-to-be gifts her future husband’s family a certain amount of money, a practice generally followed in rural Nepal.
A group of women in the village sang songs that they had self-written, which celebrated women’s togetherness now, and in the years to come. This was a poignant and empowering message for all the women present. The song encouraged women’s equality in all aspects of life and portrayed a message of women’s strength and unity in supporting one another. A second song about the discrimination of women encouraged the message, “Give women an education, not a dowry”. The whole International Women’s Day event was uplifting in celebrating women’s unity and created a sense of harmonious empowerment of women.
Written by Team Leader Clara
November Charlie 1