An online book, which aims to change the narrative of women in Nepal and celebrate those who have inspired positive change has been created to help shape research and development projects in low and middle income countries.
The book ‘Nepali Women Who Inspire Positive Change’ has been created by lecturer in sociology at LJMU Dr Sara Parker and founder of the Celebrating Womanhood Awards in Nepal Shrijana Singh Yonjon.
In the past 14 years the womanhood awards have honored 126 women, each award is connected to a Hindu goddess and represents their demonstration of strength in a particular field such as learning, justice and nature.
The book contains 25 of the most powerful stories of Nepali women from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds and regions.
Stories include Laxmi Timilsina who after being refused fertiliser at her local store because of her gender began an organic farm movement; and Menuka Thapa who founded an organisation to prevent sexual exploitation of women working in dance bars, restaurants and massage parlours.
The book also includes Tripta Lungeli Magar who after developing Polio at the age of two, which caused permanent damage to her legs, founded the Nepal Disabled Women and Girls Society to provide education and training for women and girls living with disabilities.
Sara said: “This collection of stories represents the strong, resilient, pioneering women across Nepal and aims to empower other women both nationally and international.
“We will be using the book as a tool for our sociology students to teach them about the barriers facing women in terms of health, education and respect; as well as the need for NGOs and support agencies to provide people living in low and middle income countries with the tools they need to develop their own projects.
“Too often these well-meaning agencies overlook the knowledge and skills of people living in these countries while trying to provide support, instead of involving them in sustainable projects, which can create a fairer stable future and reduce the additional input needed by external agencies in the future.”
To celebrate the launch of the book Shrijana travelled to the UK to speak to students and guests at LJMU about the pursuit of gender equality in Nepal, as well as the Nepalese Embassy.