What the women say...

Hatani saysthat some of the women are implementing what they learned from the health training they took. They are aware that boiling water is best for their family’s health.
Two Nepal women washing clothes in river

Manju said that now women are helping other women in the village.

Read more about the women and WELNepal in the "Bagmara Report"

SharmilaRead more about community leaders like Sharmila who with WELNepal's help, started up classes in her region in:
"Sharmila"

The Women – an introduction

“We used to be like animals, now we are women”

When you pass a Nepali woman in her village, it’s not uncommon for her to shuffle past you, eyes downcast. Perhaps it’s because she’s shy. Maybe it’s because she feels there’s little to see and even less to say. In Nepal, there’s always too much work to do, and never enough hours in the day to do it.

There’s a global misconception about the reality of “women’s work,” particularly in developing countries. Traditionally, the “homebound" work of women has been dismissed as frivolous and easy. “How hard is it to cook a meal?” skeptics ask. “How long does it take to feed a baby and wash some clothes?”

In rural Nepal, there are no washing machines. Rural women laboriously clean clothes in river water, beating them spotless. It’s not an easy alternative to non-domestic work. It’s backbreaking manual labour. In rural Nepal, there are no stoves. Meals are cooked over open fires, which can harshly chip away at the cook’s health over months or years. Women have to travel into jungles to find and cut firewood themselves. They also spend hours gathering grass to feed livestock and maintaining crops. Children — and there may be many — are carried on their mother’s backs while they plow fields and harvest crops in unforgiving hot weather. Aging in-laws are cared for at every spare moment. The women performing these tasks are not mature adults. Many are children or teens, harvesting crops and caring for their children rather than going to school.

For many Nepali women, work is constant. It can also be thankless and difficult, and for many, there are simply no other options. Even going beyond the village is a courageous feat when the traveller can’t read maps or signs or count change.

Nepali women — like many women — face specific challenges. They face discrimination, familial bullying and domestic violence. They can be subjected to restrictions and abuses that they don’t believe they can combat. With education, a woman learns that she is not powerless, that she has the right to own property and report abuse.

Old woman herding cattle on road

“Our literacy class was like planting a seed. Now WELNepal
is coming again to water that seed”.