Digital book profiles Nepali women for whom uncommon grit was a common trait
The gender movement has grown with events such as 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Womenand Girls and Women of the World Festival amplifying the voice of activists.
One of the initiatives in Nepal is Shrijana Yonjan’s Celebrating Womanhood Award which recognises women in the name of the nine female goddesses and represents powerful women from all walks of life.
The award goes beyond the well known faces among women empowerment activists, advocates and NGO leaders to local women from various backgrounds. The award spotlights women who have contributed and impacted their communities and nation, but are not included or accepted as serious leaders and change makers, when in fact they are creating change that everyone is aspiring for.
Six journalists fanned out across Nepal to collect stories of 50 women to include in an inspiring e-book containing untold stories of unsung heroes. The digital book will be launched online on International Women's Day on 8 March.
Through their work and life they have contributed to shaping the thoughts and actions of generations to come. Their grit has helped bring about a shift in conventional mind-sets and ideologies regarding the role of women (and men) in Nepali society. This is the time to promote and benefit from their stories.
The book includes a diverse range of experiences of women from different backgrounds, and shows that there is no one narrative of gender or women in Nepal. It also shows that we do not just need to celebrate women who work to directly tackle ‘gender issues’, but should also focus on those, who through their work set a positive role model for young women.
These are testaments of the power of individual agency as a means to overcome oppression and stigma on many levels.
Sara Parker is a Reader in Development Studies, Sociology at Liverpool John Moores University, UK with a long standing research commitment in Nepal.