Women in Nepal lead a difficult life, particularly in rural communities where a patriarchal society and ignorance of the law hinders progress towards gender equality. Although the situation for girls and women in urban areas has been improving, Nepali women in general are still expected to act subserviently, are given inferior education compared to their male counterparts, and are forced to work for less pay or without pay at all. They are often abused emotionally and physically, which further contributes to their negative self-image and low personal expectations.
Through EWN’s program, women develop intellectual and emotional skills and learn to combat and reject the limitations of social oppression with grace and courage.
For the first time in their lives, women who suffocate under strict social rules can finally exhale.
Sharmila, a single mother of two who joined the program in 2000, now feels that she is capable of providing a good life for herself and her daughters:
“I feel like I have been let out of my prison. For the first time in my life, I have the freedom to live how I choose”
Escaping from an abusive marriage and forced to leave her children behind, Sarita (name changed) had nowhere to turn. She entered the program without education, skills or previous work experience. Despite her family’s protests against her employment aspirations, she persevered and succeeded in the program, and has been successfully employed in the trekking field for the last six years. She is reunited with her children and supports them and their education with her income. Seeing her grow in so many positive ways through the training has changed her family’s attitude completely, and her husband now offers to look after the children while she works.