12 September, 2020

“We women, from far flung villages were on the dark for years, this training takes us on a journey towards the light, ” Manisha Rosariya, a participant who hails from a far-off hilly hamlet – Uchchakot, Shikhar municipality of Doti emotionally shared her experience, adding, “It is hard for me to leave the zoom room today, I would like to sing a song before I leave you all.”

“Got to remain in the cowshed,
Got to die at home,
Woman is the creator…”

The words above, hardly translate her emotion. Manisha was speaking, and singing at a closing ceremony of a week-long training today. Her singing shed some light on the pain, and suffering of girls, and women in the remote hills of Nepal.

The virtual training for the trainers (ToT) specially designed for the community-based leader was focused on promotion of feminist leadership, and gender responsive inclusive governance. It was an initiative of Justice and Rights Institute, Nepal National Dalit Social Welfare Organization (NNDSWO), and funded by UN Women in Nepal. An expert from WOREC Nepal observed, and offered her tips to the participants.

What fascinated the most was that the barefoot woman leaders from Badikedar rural municipality located 150 km south from the district headquarters of Doti of western Nepal were also connected into the virtual training hall, and actively attended the ToT training.

Just before a concluding ceremony, the training on virtual room was in progress. Anita Bhujel who leads the project was facilitating the session. A voice suddenly diverted participants’ attention. “Ma’am! Ma’am! My mobile didn’t work due to poor network here, I do have my work plan at hand, and can I present it now?” Temporarily disconnected Binita from Doti keenly wished to share her plan. All the participants at the beginning were asked to devise a plan.

While mock sessions for the twenty-five participants were successfully organized before the training kicked off, the sessions at the first day, turned tedious, but it gradually turned out better after the participants become familiar with zoom features.

Agreeing unequivocally to the contents covered in the sesssions, one of the male participants, Dev Bahadur Kami from Kailali highlighted that: “This event clarified my misconception about feminism and feminist leadership; I clearly got what it really means. It is all about inclusion, social, political, economic equality among dalit, indigenous people, women, and person with disability, sexual minorities and other section of the society “.

A week-long course covered included among others gender, feminism and leadership, gender responsive budgeting, reflects problem analysis, advocacy, facilitation skills, right to information, documentation. Anita Bhujel, Shanti Barma, Devaka KC, Bed Lamichhane, advocate Sundar Bahadur Sheni, and Chun Bahadur Gurung facilitated the training sessions.

Manisha’s emotional expression, Binita’ enthusiasm, and Dev’s acknowledgement were reflected into the assessment forms. The training organizer carried out pre and post event assessment. Rajya Laxmi Gurung from WOREC Nepal regularly observed the sessions, and offered her inputs to make it more substantial. Advocate Mohan Lal Acharya, Executive Director of JuRI-Nepal, and Santosh Acharya of UN Women at the closing ceremony acknowledged the effort, and appreciated.