Archive for September, 2013

A snap frm Bethan VDC

My new working area .. Really excited to work at this place! Me along with my other colleagues (Volunteers, Staff, Trainers) have been working really hard. We will be training for a month and work at this Bethan VDC, Ramechap, Nepal. We started training from 24th september. Our Israeli, American and Germany friends who will work with us in Community Development will be here this week. More updates will be coming soon!!! 🙂

photo courtesy: Nyayik Sansar

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While volunteering in Tewa, our participants  (Ariyane, Krita, Sara and Suman ) were given task to write about stories of young ladies who were involved in night entertaintment business such as working as waitress in a night restaurant , singing in such night entertaintment business houses and so on.

Women working in Night Entertaintment business houses are molested and sexually harrased. We went to this organisation named  Women for Women Nepal (WOFOWON) which looks after women working in such sectors. Here is a short description of WOFOWON and  some of the stories of such women by our volunteering team.

Women for Women Nepal (WOFOWON)

WOWOFON was established in 2008 and currently has 507 members and 9 board members. The vision of the organisation is a prosperous society with a guarantee of labour and human rights for women working in the entertainment sector based on social security and justice. WOWOFON holds a mission in which the organisation works for the preservation, protection and promotion of women’s rights. The organisation aims to unite and ensure the women labour rights through various activities in order to reach the goal of the organisation which is to unite informal women and women working in the entertainment sector, facilitate their empowerment and advocate for a con­ducive environment in which their labour and human rights are met. This article revolves around the stories of four women whom the WOWOFON has helped. Their stories are as follows.

Sita Thapa( Myagdi)

Sita Thapa left her village 11 years ago due to the maoist insurgency. She found a job in a shop but when the owner failed to pay her she left and headed to Kathmandu with the help of an army of­ficer. There, she found a job as a waitress but when the owner did not pay her properly she left the job.

She is divorced and has been so for a year. Her husband harassed and beat her and after reporting the abuse to the police she got a divorce. Meanwhile she joined WOFOWON where she received training in dancing and education in the English language. The WOFOWON has helped her in learning her rights and so she feels empowered by this. Today she owns a small lunch shop and is economically independent. The shop allows her to save around Rs. 25,000 – 30,000 per month. She also teaches dancing at WOWOFON and hopes to work more with the organisation in the future as well as learning how to read and write as she is illiterate.

All in all she feels that she has evolved as a person due to the training and support she has received at WOWOFON. She has gained a lot of confidence and has become aware of her rights as a woman and a worker. She is empowered and looks after her family which consists of two brothers who does no contribute in looking after the family. She hopes that TEWA in the future will help more women.

Prativa Karki Shrestha (Dhading)

Prativa Karki Shrestha is 19 years old and currently living in Kathmandu while working as a wait­ress. She eloped with her boyfriend because her parents did not approve of him and entered mar­riage at the age of 17. Due to various difficulties she was unable to finish her +2 and is not able to collect her certificate from her parents as she has no contact with her family because of the dispute over the then boyfriend and now husband.

She has tried to commit suicide twice because her husband beats her and has no respect for her. She has also experienced harassment at work, which has also been a contributing factor in her attempts on her own life. However, today she has gained the confidence to stand up against the men who sexually harass her and for her colleagues at work as well. She has even found the confidence to support the girls who are new to the industry and inform them of their rights. She also feels confi­dent enough to speak up against her husband as she now knows her rights.

Prativa has taken dance classes at WOWOFON and starting next month, will teach dance as well. Meanwhile she hopes to be able to study further and get her certificate and furthermore she is plan­ning to work in WOWOFON as well in order to help and empower other women.

Laxmi Tamang(Lamjung)

Laxmi Tamang ended school after class 6. She eloped with her boyfriend which caused a dispute in the family – however, later her parents accepted her choice of husband. After 5 years of marriage she divorced her husband and he married another girl. Her family consists of her son and daughter. Because she never got her certificate she entered this industry but she was not paid regularly and when she did receive a payment it was a lot less than what her right. And so she left her job and today she is taking dance lessons at WOWOFON and in the near future she could like to have a tailoring shop.

Monika Lama (Chitwan)

Monika Lama never finished her education – she left school after class 5. She has been working in the industry for 4 years and has a son. Her husband is supportive of her and she currently sits in a board. Although she has never faced harassment at work herself she wants to advocate and speak against harassment and for the rights of women. This she feels is possible due to the confidence the trainings at WOWOFON has given her. She has been taking dance lessons at WOWOFON and plans to study further.

These are some of the stories of such victimised women. It is a matter of pity that women are molested in such places.Not only in such places, women are vicitims of rape, assault in most parts of pur country, Nepal. It was an amazing learning experience to have known about those women through WOFOWON and TEWA. Hats off to these organisations working for women, though, a lot is needed to be done.