Women at the Heart of Everything we do
It was not long ago when women in several parts of Nepal were called with snarky remarks whenever they tried voicing their opinions.
“Crackling Hen brings bad Luck”, is what they used to call out to women who would stand up and speak their minds in public meetings.
Such attitude over a period of several decades has contributed to a significant downside on women’s confidence; so much that they would even hesi-tate to tell their names when inquired by a stranger. This has adversely affected women’s participation in several fronts such as political and economic empowerment, and participation in local development.
It was under this pretext that Oxfam started initiat-ing several activities for women empowerment with the establishment of Women Empowerment Center (WEC). WECs, are formed and strengthened to implement the projects aiming at empowering women. This includes capacity building activities of local women through training and orientations. Women in these centers are guided by trained fa-cilitators where they learn to prioritize their issues and claim their rights from the local government.
WECs brought together women and girls for 2 hours regularly to improve their advocacy, leader-ship, and proposal writing skills. Besides, they have gained knowledge about GBV, women’s right, unpaid care work, leadership skills, financial liter-acy, climate change and its impact, climate smart farming for to improve income generation.
The members of WECs have lobbied with local and provincial government to bring in better infrastruc-ture for the community. In addition, they have also initiated group savings and borrowings which can be accessed by members during crisis at low inter-est rates.
With a list of achievements accomplished by the members of WEC, the people in the community have gradually realized the potential of the group in the development of the community. The members have also reported that not only have insult-ing remarks stopped, but many men in the commu-nity have come out to support the WEC to carry out their initiatives.