Since my time in Nepal is almost up, I think this as prime a time as any to talk about the nonprofit that I have been working with for three months now: Women For Women Forum, Nepal.
Women for Women Forum, which I from now shall lovingly call WFWF, is a Nepalese nonprofit focusing on the political and economic education, empowerment and advocacy of less privileged women in the greater Kathmandu Valley.
Through its work, WFWF's mission is to empower women and girls by enhancing their political, economic, legal, and social status through mainstreaming gender in policies, plans, and programs. The vision is simple: to create a gender-equal society wherein women and men actively pursue the goal of gender equality and a life free from violence.
Women For Women Forum focuses on ensuring that Nepalese human rights work is not discriminatory and actively goes against the patriarchal norms of Nepal. In order to advocate female participation and empowerment while going against culture, WFWF focuses on creating women’s groups within the villages it works with and supports. Moreover, WFWF ensures that their families, husbands, and towns either are or grow to be accepting of the women’s secured rights and political and economic freedoms.
The priority of economic and political empowerment is close to the heart of WFWF as an integral part to our organization’s mission, holding strong that one of the crucial ways a woman is going to be able to keep her rights is through economic and political stability. Without these rights, women will find themselves, simply put, without a say. Because of this, the women’s groups that have formed as cells of WFWF have the facet of economic cooperation, enabling the women to join an economic cooperative that provides both monetary and political freedoms and rights.
Women’s rights is also a key part of WFWF’s campaign for feminist equality. Women For Women Forum often holds training events and field visits so as to ensure that the women’s groups come together, not only with the WFWF but also other women’s groups, in order to facilitate cooperative learning. These meetings, newsletters, and field visits serve as a mode to further woman’s rights education by the WFWF.
In this sense, WFWF's use of education via training programs is an integral role in how it advances our organization’s work with women’s empowerment. Moreover, in a region like Nepal, it is important to note that traditional technologies and platforms prove to be successful in connecting and cooperating with villages, something that WFWF finds necessary to address issues and further rural economic and political empowerment of women.
With regards to leadership, Women For Women remains a primarily woman-organized and woman-run institution. In fact, our woman’s groups are just that, women whose cell report to WFWF in Kathmandu, a headquarters of primarily female employees that was actually founded by 9 Nepalese women in 1994.
Here is a brief overview of Women For Women's objectives and process:
- To establish gender equality.
- To make women economically self-reliant and independent
- To advocate for women’s rights
- To integrate development programs focused on children and family
- Ensuring healthy and happy families
- To assist marginalized women and children with literacy and education programs
- To organize awareness programs on the issues of female trafficking, abortion, and reproduction rights
- To provide information about women’s rights as acknowledged by the Beijing Platform for Action and The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms Of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
- To provide scholarship assistance to marginalized children
- To provide facilities of saving and credit
- 3-month computer training courses
- Foods training in: noodle making, candle making, potato chip processing, and paapad making
- Handicraft training in: knitting, sewing, doll making, and painting
- Saving and Credit program
- Microloans and Savings Assistance
- Large Animals Farm Training: cattle, buffalo, pigs, goats, poultry
- Building of community center
- Self-help group management training
- Gender and Justice Training
- Micro-enterprise training
- Value Based Cornerstone Training
- Account Training
- Kitchen Garden Training
- Reproductive Health Training
- Nutrition Education
- Farming practices (animal management, milk quality management, ginger cultivation)
More information here: womenforwomenforumnepal.org