For International Women’s Day (March 8th), Purnaa staff participated in a fun run to indicate our commitment to women and to raise awareness about Gender Issues in Nepal. At Purnaa, 61 of our 79 employees are female (77%)! We intentionally encourage women in the workplace and wherever possible, we look to promote from within.
The need to promote gender equality is so important in Nepal as we still see shocking discrimination and abuse against women here.
If we look into child labor rates in Nepal, we can quickly see how dramatic the issue is. In 2017, 11% of boys and 15% of girls aged 5-9 were already in the labour force, and 47.2% of boys and 58.7% of girls aged 10-14. These are dramatic statistics that emphasise the point that more needs to be done to provide children, and especially girls, with better support and access to education.
In the Kathmandu Valley, an estimated 11,000 – 13,000 women and girls are working in the “night entertainment industry”, (cabin restaurants, dance bars, dohari restaurants and massage parlours), of which many are forced to engage in sexual activities and all are vulnerable to trafficking. Nearly one half of these workers entered the industry before they were 18 years old.
When we additionally consider that an estimated 50 women from Nepal are trafficked to India everyday, we recognize how important it is to advocate for opportunities for women here in Nepal. It’s why at Purnaa we make scholarships accessible for those who want to go back to school. And we offer life-skill training to equip staff with skill-sets needed to “catch-up” and improve their and their families’ quality of life.
At Purnaa, we are motivated by a drive to see freedom and equality for all women, regardless of background, education levels, HIV status, “caste” or religion. And that’s why when we have the opportunity to raise our voice for women and partake in events like the Women’s Day Fun Run, we eagerly take it.
1. Nepal Labour Market Update 2017, International Labour Organization, https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—asia/—ro-bangkok/—ilo-kathmandu/documents/publication/wcms_543497.pdf
3. Stop, Check and Call: How Nepal’s Women Human Interceptors Catch Traffickers, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nepal-trafficking-border/stop-check-and-call-how-nepals-women-human-interceptors-catch-traffickers-idUSKCN1LT01J
4. Eliminating Child Labour in Nepal, International Labour Organization, https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—asia/—ro-bangkok/—ilo-kathmandu/documents/projectdocumentation/wcms_182777.pdf