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Women Empowerment Studies

women empowerment studies

The Women’s Empowerment Program is one of the major programs being conducted in Jitpurphedi. You may participate in our women’s empowerment internship project round the year. This program was targeted for overall development/empowerment of women in terms of imparting them education, life skill, income generation and health.

Furthermore, a saving credit co-operative (Jitpurphedi Agriculture Co-operative) has been formed in 2008 which now includes over 500 women groups from 66 communities in Kathmandu Valley. It encourages women to save money to get interest. They can also loan money to start their own income generation activities like goat keeping and vegetable farming. To support the women´s income activities, VIN conducts training for the skills they need for it (farming, sewing cutting skills etc.). Additionally, there are trainings for account keeping and business related topics. 

Case study

Rita (25, married) lives in Jitpur and joined the Microcredit Cooperative in 2012. Her family, involved in vegetable farming, went through a financial crisis before she took a credit by which she could invest in new farming technologies due to the Micro Cooperative`s support. Rita took part in five days agriculture farming training provided by VIN where she could increase her knowledge. She is happy about her new “male” role in family and hopes to increase her harvest income profit in the next season.

Women Studies internships provide students with the opportunity for hands-on application of the research and theories they have studied in their classes. For an internship, students volunteer 15 hours per week for a term in the organization whose work benefits women at VIN’s working communities. Some work as teaching assistants for Women empowerment classes. For many students, the internship is a path to a career. For others, it is an experience that helps them develop valuable skills that they are able to use in whatever work they choose.

Women and girls in Nepal are discriminated against both social and legal settings. Socially and traditionally especially in remote rural areas, child labour (especially of girls), domestic abuse, and sexual exploitation are socially accepted norms. Additionally, girls are traditionally not educated and kept illiterate, increasing their financial dependency and keeping them unaware of their basic human rights. If you say to parents and neighbor about the discrimination, then they will say there’s not any since it is traditionally and culturally accepted and they don’t realize. A number of laws also discriminate against women’s citizenship, inheritance rights, divorce rights, and even by meting out minimal to no punishment against their physical or sexual abusers. The recent conflict has only added to the problem, causing many fathers and husbands (on whom women were dependent) to be killed or disappeared and making it more difficult for women to seek justice and enforcement of the few protections they do have under the law.

VIN’s organization by a group of professional people to address the problems of women in Nepal by increasing public awareness of opportunities for economic and social self-development, income generating by fostering social responsibility and self-reliance in developing villages, and by empowering women to improve their lives and community. The issues surrounding women’s rights touch every area of society and skill from agriculture to health care to teaching, so VIN has developed a variety of social, educational, legal, and financial programs, and almost anyone can help in some way. Volunteers Initiative Nepal places volunteers with on its own established programmes providing language and culture training that will enable them to maximize their potential to contribute and learn, arranges a home stay experience, and provides support for volunteers for the duration of their stay.

 How can a volunteer/Intern help?

Any of the following volunteer activities may be done full time, or combined with another VIN volunteer in Nepal program:

Teaching English for local youths and women

Volunteers will teach English to local women at VIN’s working site Jitpur. Groups and times for women’s classes are more flexible. Generally age group is 15 to 26. Skill training, income generating activities   You can do a variety of activities through VIN’s established women empowerment projects.

VIN’s got following programs in operation.

  • Women literacy (which is now in operation, 150 women)
  • Income Generative Activities (e.g. Vegetable farming, chicken farming, sawing and handicrafts) about 150 women directly benefiting
  • Micro Credit and saving groups Community health and sanitation
  • Forage development (Environment) and community environment education

Other skill training programs identify local resources and use local materials for the development of skills, which contribute to sustainable resource use and economic development. Examples of skill training programs offered include sewing, weaving methods, tailoring, beautician training, paper making, retail shop running, animal-farming, toy-making, and other small business production training or marketing. 

What could I do to help?

Volunteers can hold workshops, classes, training, etc. on existing programs or production methods, or for a longer stay, even introduce new products and training programs.

 Where would training take place?

Training would generally take place at our community site, Jitpur, in Kathmandu, but depending on the type of training, length of stay, and ability of volunteer, another location can be arranged. Work on an Organic Farm at Jitpur

Why an organic farm?

Over 80% of the population of Nepal is involved in some type of agriculture, and immensely impacts the lives of Nepali women. Poor farming methods, misuse of pesticides and chemicals, deforestation, and lack of agricultural education contribute to rural poverty and the desperate condition of many families, women, and children. 

What can a volunteer/intern do?

Work may vary greatly depending on a volunteer’s experience, time of year, and other factors. Volunteers may do manual labor on the farm, or may hold training or workshops on environmental education or organic farming methods. You can help and encourage women to organic farming and work along side. VIN’s just conducted training on organic vegetable farming for 45 women in association with District Education office Kathmandu and Agriculture office. 

Where is the farm?

The farm is located in outskirt of Kathmandu Valley, 10 km away from Kathmandu city.

What are the Requirements?

  • Willing to work with the women of marginalized communities
  • Respect on local culture
  • Some sort of women’s strengthening skills and ideas
  • Volunteers must be female
  • Volunteers must be at least 18 years old
  • Flexible on working hour and strategies

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