Spotlight on Nepal in ‘Dignity Without Danger’

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Author and activist Radha Paudel. Pic © Seanan McSheffrey JMU Journalism

Two inspirational activists from Nepal came to Liverpool to describe the difficulties females face in their homeland.

They delivered a talk at LJMU on the eve of International Women’s Day as part of the British Academy GCRF project ‘Dignity Without Danger’.

The two women, whose work focuses on assisting the most marginalised populations in Western and Eastern Nepal and promoting human rights, delivered a strong message to the audience.

They explored the key challenges faced by women in Nepal and highlighted the work that is being done to promote dignity for all, addressing gender discrimination and promoting dignified menstruation.

Radha Paudel, a nurse and author working in Western Nepal, and Kopila Basnet, a lawyer aiming to end domestic violence based in Eastern Nepal, are both actively engaged in challenging gender based violence and promoting gender equality in Nepal.

Ms Paudel said: “We advocate for the change we want to see in society. We work to create the world we want to see our children grow up in. We create sex education books because they didn’t exist when we looked.”

YouTube: Seanan McSheffrey

Speaking of why women in Nepal are so vulnerable, Ms Basnet said: “Women in Nepal are poorly educated, therefore they do not know what rights they have. People see a son as a blessing and a daughter as a burden. Arranged marriages are happening every day. We want to put a stop to this and support our women and change the future for young girls in Nepal.”

Ms Paudel highlighted that it is not only women in Nepal that are being affected, but also others from all over the world. She said: “Women from all kind of religions, and also Nepal women living in the UK, are suffering and living in silence. Therefore this International Women’s Day we want to stand up and have a voice for women all over the world who do not have certain rights.”

The ladies from ‘Dignity Without Danger’ will be joining what is expected to be hundreds of others in Liverpool today at a strike march starting at the Bombed Out Church to celebrate International Women’s Day.

About Seanan McSheffrey, JMU Journalism