People often ask our 2012 LEADer, Sujata, how Women LEAD changes Nepal. “You don’t go to the villages,” they tell her. For Sujata, the answer to this question is simple.
This post was written by Women LEAD’s 2014 Summer Intern, Gloriana Sojo.
People ask Sujata how Women LEAD changes Nepal. “You don’t go to the villages” they tell her.
For Sujata, the answer to this question is simple: Training us now will have a long-term impact for Nepal.
Women LEAD trains young women in Kathmandu through an entire year so that they can reach key leadership positions alongside men. Sujata, a 2012 leader and current Women LEAD board member, says that after the one-year LEAD program she became aware of important issues in her society like violence against women, and also about her responsibility to be an agent of change.
“In my view, economic weakness is also the cause for increasing violence,” she says. “When women are economically dependent upon men then they are compelled to bear violence against them.”
So Sujata wants to develop an export business that will provide work to women and empower them economically and socially. “I want to produce something from Nepal which will be of high quality,” she says. Her father has a small shop of Nepali handcraft bags and Sujata is determined to grow it after she completes her degree in business administration.
She also feels more equipped to become an entrepreneur and a leader in Nepal. At Women LEAD, she says she improved her public speaking skills and is now able to represent the organization in public appearances and speak with different stakeholders as a member of its board.
But Sujata’s impact goes beyond her work in Women LEAD and beyond Kathmandu. Her family is from Nawakot and Hetauda, rural villages outside of the capital. Like half of our participants whose families are originally from rural Nepali villages, Sujata goes back to her parents’ hometowns where she brings new ideas and knowledge about how to create positive social change.
“After I complete my studies, I would like to go to my father’s hometown and work for empowerment and development of women living there,” she says. “I would like to conduct the same program that Women LEAD has conducted in my village.”
Sujata will also tutor children in Nawakot during her next vacation, “I think this would be a great way to share my knowledge,” she says.
Through young female leaders like Sujata, Women LEAD goes to the villages. It impacts Nepal through these girls who believe in their people and in their country, and who are committed to creating long-term change.