Give a hand in the construction of Chhahari : A safe space for single women in Nepal

Pratiksha Rajopadhyaya [Youth Wing Member]

Single women are amongst the most marginalized and vulnerable in the community due to their marital status, which leads to many forms of discrimination. The needs and rights of single womenare different compared to married women. The different socio-cultural traditions outcast them and restrict their social, economic and political mobility. They are kept isolated from various societal practices considering being ill-omened. Their human rights are violated starting from restriction on using the colour red to forcing on becoming vegetarian. Such discriminative social laws make single women more vulnerable. A number of single women are displaced due to the conflict, facing psychological trauma and mental torture from the society.
Poor employment opportunities, limited access to market, no collateral to access to credit and discriminatory wages forcing them to work in informal sectors
Lack of education increases poverty, emphasizes low status of single women and make them vulnerable to exploitation, violence and abuse.

Single women suffer due to :
1. Homelessness and displacement, “property grabbing” and thrown out.
2. Lack of inheritance and property rights
3.  Lack of education, vocational training (only 11% single women are literate, census 2011)
4. Lack of Employment  (75% single women have married in between the ages of 10-19, census 2011)
5. No/limited access to market
6. No job replacement after husband’s death
7. Lack of secured shelter
8. Discriminatory wages
9. No collateral to access credit
10. Limited, restricted or lack of access to services -health, nutrition, housing and social security

Chhahari in Nepali means the shade of a tree where weary travellers can reenergize and continue with their journey. Similarly, this metaphor has been adapted in the services provided by ‘Chhahari’ to the vulnerable single women who come to Chhahari to seek rejuvenation and healing in the secure and caring environment. The single women who come here receive counselling for their trauma as well as get equipped with tools to deal with the discriminating society outside. Chhahari has been able to provide rehabilitation services to vulnerable and needy women. The duration of this service can be a few days to months as needed.

Continue reading Give a hand in the construction of Chhahari : A safe space for single women in Nepal

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Intern Profile : Subina Shrestha

– Pratiksha Rajopadhyaya [Youth Wing Member]

A young and energetic young woman, ‘Subina Shrestha’ is one of the interns of Women for Human Rights, single women group(WHR).  Confident and and hard working by nature, she believes that WHR is a great platform to learn and empower herself in practical field. Working in a friendly environment, she has explored herself in a social field.

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1. Why did you join WHR?
I have always been keen to work in the field of women empowerment. So, for me volunteering in WHR was a great opppurtunity to grow myself and learn more about issues related to single women. When I was doing my Masters, I first heard about WHR and since then I had a desire to work here. When I heard about youth wing membership in WHR, I instantly decided to join WHR.  I have joined this organization to learn the skills related to operation of organization, management skills: planning implementation documentation and monitoring, to participate in event organized by an organization.

2. How has WHR helped you?
WHR has been an amazing platform to enhance my professional capability by grabbing all oppurtunities that come across me. Through the help, support and encouragement of our coordinators , other staff members and co-interns, I have been able to do all the works effectively and efficiently. We are also given feedback of the activities that we do, which helps us to keep record of our mistakes so , we can work on our weaknesses.

3. What issues have you learnt about regarding single women through WHR?
I have learnt about Social Security Allowance Issue, war and conflict impacts and their case study, Gender Issue, CEDAW, National Action Plan on Implementation of the United Security Council Resolution 1325 and 1820, Women deprived from economy issue, VAW and Citizenship issue.

4. How is the working environment around WHR?
The working environment in WHR is very cooperative and friendly. There is mutual understanding between our staff members, coordinator and volunteers so there is always positive vibes in our work place and thus we are always willing to complete the task in given time.

5. How do you plan to use the experiences attained from WHR in your future career?
This experience will definitely help me to meet my objectives regarding my career. This will help to enrich my resume  stronger in my desire field. The knowledge I have gained will be utilized, shared and able to contribute to make a better place in a society.