Women step up in their community
Women step up in their community
A few years ago, it was rare to find women participating in any community or government structures in Doti. Most were limited to their household work, farming, and taking care of their family members. Culturally, in many rural communities there (and across much of Nepal), women are generally considered as houseworkers and unable to take on other roles in the community which are filled by men. Seeing this situation, the United Mission to Nepal and its local partner CEAD Nepal* has been implementing the Saksham (Empowered) project in Bogtan Fudsil Rural Municipality from 2020. The project formed 24 groups with 600 female members, conducting regular civic education sessions to build capacity around rights, entitlements and many social issues while also training to enhance their leadership capacity.
Now the participation of women in different community groups in Bogtan has increased. In the local-level election conducted in November 2022, three women from three different women’s groups started by Saksham were elected, and they are now representing the community as members of the local government. Furthermore, 48 members are part of different user groups related to drinking water, community forest, construction etc., and 10 members are part  of school management committees.
Meet one of the three ladies who were recently elected to local government:
Kalasi Devi Damai, aged 50, is a member of the Rudragufa women’s group. She has been actively participating in group meetings since its formation. She shared that it was not easy to continue attending the group meetings due to her other household work – she has nine family members. Kalasi added that, in the beginning, they expected an allowance to participate in the meeting. Likewise, they were not ready to do monthly saving. However, gradually they learned about the importance of the group, started monthly savings, and learned many things about their rights. During the local election, the political party nominated her to lead her community, and she was elected as a ward member. Now, she can raise her voice and bring up the issues of her communities in the local government meetings. She is grateful for the difference in her life: “I am thankful to the project which has built our capacity and brought positive changes in our lives.”
Key Highlights:
  • 136 marginalised community members improved their economic status through micro-enterprises in Doti, helping to fulfil their needs and move towards wellbeing.
  • 32 households have benefited with the construction of a 228 m long irrigation canal and a water collection tank, irrigating 1.25 hectares of land. This is enhancing agricultural production and productivity and has also reduced the workload of women in particular.
  • 10 users’ groups have been able to prepare and implement their action plans related to protecting, conserving, and restoring natural (water) resources. This has helped to protect and recharge traditional water sources.

* Central for Equal Access Development


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