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Alumni celebrate International Women’s Day in Nepal

Posted: 1 April 2019

Nepal, Impact,

The importance of women in leadership positions and recent legislative developments to empower women were among the key highlights at an International Women’s Day 2019 celebration organised by the (ANAA) and Australia Awards Women in Leadership Network (WiLN) in Kathmandu.

Addressing the event, His Excellency Peter Budd, the Australian Ambassador to Nepal, acknowledged the recent legislative development that has made it possible for many Nepali women to get elected in leadership positions.

He added that adequate gender equality would not be reached in Nepal until women are in leadership positions in their communities, workplaces and in politics. He reiterated the commitment of the Australian Government to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The event featured panel discussions and spoken-word poetry performances focusing on the issues of gender and sexuality in Nepal. The Panel, comprising of Australian alumni Prof Dr Damodar Prasad Pokhrel, Prof Dr Dibya Singh Shah and Ms Ashmina Ranjit, along with Ms Anju Dhungana, an Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen, shared their experiences and insights on the pertinent gender issues in light of Australia’s International Women’s Day theme, More Powerful Together.

Prof Dr Pokhrel, CEO and the Head of Surgery Department at Kathmandu Medical College and former Vice-Chancellor of National Academy of Medical Sciences, spoke about how he has ensured a safe and enabling working environment for female employees under his leadership.

Prof Dr Singh, Head of Nephrology and Transplant Medicine at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital shared her experiences regarding overcoming gender barriers and also the support she received from her male family members and colleagues to reach to her current position.

Ms Ranjit shared how she has been advocating for gender equality through art. Ms Ranjit is one of the noted fine arts professionals in Nepal; a book on her artwork, Silence No Longer: Artivism of Ashmina was published recently with the support of the Australian Embassy in Nepal.

Ms Dhungana highlighted the Government’s policies and programmes on women’s empowerment in Nepal. Chaired by ANAA President, Dr Ram Hari Aryal, and facilitated by noted journalist Nirmala Sharma, the event brought more than 70 Australian alumni together to mark the importance of the day.