Nepalese women’s stories : Anita
In July 2019 RUWON started its second term IT training program in partnership with French W4 association, dedicated to women from marginalised areas around Kathmandu. You will find more information here.
In order to highlight the impact of this program, we have chosen to interview some of our student girls and listen to what they have to say. Get the girls’ thoughts help us improve our programming and be certain that the IT training meets the girls’ real needs.
We also think that our student girls all have very positive and inspiring outlooks on their future, unafraid to dream big and tackle challenges. We are proud to share their stories with you.
Let’s turn up the volume of Nepalese women’s voices!
This time we hear from 22-year-old Anita Rai.
Namaste Anita, can you introduce yourself to everyone?
My name is Anita Rai, I am twenty-two. I am originally from Morang Nepal but currently I live in Budhanilakantha 10, Kathmandu. Recently I completed my Bachelor in Social Studies from GP Koirala Memorial College and I am planning to study a Master’s degree in Social Work.
Why did you chose to attend the IT training program and what did you expect?
Due to the lack of knowledge about computers I had to face various problems while looking for a job and that is why I decided to join an IT course. Unfortunately IT courses in my area were all very expensive and I was unable to afford them. Later I heard about this free IT training program through the municipality and I applied immediately. Luckily I got selected. I needed to join this IT training program because computers are crucial in our day-to-day life and I wanted to get knowledge about technology. And since it is free, I don’t have to worry about the money either.
What do you think of the training so far? Is there a specific program/app/soft skill you want to learn more about?
It has been beneficial for me. Before that I was unable to use a computer but through this program I learned various computer skills. In fact not only computer skills : I also learned soft skills like dealing with problems, building personal strengths or achieving our goals and dreams. This computer training has become a very useful platform in order to achieve my future projects.
I would like to learn more about the advanced course of Photoshop. I think it will reinforce my creativity level as I want to do creative works. And I want to be a master in photo editing. Apart from that, I would also like to learn soft skills like public speaking as I feel very shy when talking in front of people. I feel nervous and sweaty all the time and I find it hard to control my voice. Not only me : I have seen the problem among my friends here, during the computer training program. They are also very shy talking with people and in front of the others. So I think that if this problem is tackled during one of our soft skills courses, it will be very beneficial for all of us in the future.
What do you want to do later? What is your dream project?
I want to start up my own business in the future. I have a dream to become an entrepreneur. I am a girl who grew up in a slum, I saw and faced various problems that women have to face in their daily life: domestic violence, depression, suicide etc. And the reason behind such brutal acts is the lack of money. I still remember my mom cleaning other people’s houses, washing dishes, washing clothes, cleaning bathrooms and so on, only for a thousand rupees per month. No matter how hard she worked, she never had enough money to fulfill her own desires and she could not take a leave when she felt sick. After realising that employment and money shortage could be such a problem, I decided that I should do something. I could no longer see women living like this. Why do women have to be the victims all the time? It had to stop. Since that day I have been investigating various ways of making money. And finally when I was doing my Bachelor, I decided that I would set up my own business and provide job opportunities to every needy woman.
I want my business to be related with Arts and Crafts, but not ordinary crafts. My crafts will be produced out of materials we usually throw out and that affect our environment such as papers, magazines, plastic bottles, wine bottles etc. During my college internship I learned how to make crafts out of wastage: wall clocks, table clocks, pen holders, gifts and jewellery boxes made from papers. Or water glasses, tea cups, lamps, indoor plant vases etc. made from waste wine bottles, and many other useful products. In today’s context of increasing environmental awareness, people prefer to use eco-friendly and recyclable products. Therefore I am sure such kind of business can succeed and according to that, I have a plan to start my own business.
What is it like to be a young woman in Nepal today? How do you feel?
I feel women’s rights are still a step backwards compared to men’s rights here in Nepal. Girls still face gender discrimination in their own house. Parents favour their sons and send them to renowned schools while daughters’ education is seen as an option and girls are sent to government schools. Women face discrimination in the workplace too, experiencing low pay compared to men, for the same employment. Women’s life in Nepal is tough. Women are unable to enjoy their life freely. They endure harassment, domestic violence and have to deal with the dowry system. Because of gender inequality and because of such crimes, they don’t feel safe in their own country. Rapes and acid attacks are burning issues in Nepal and many innocent girls are victims of such acts on a daily basis. Yet the government remains silent and unable to punish culprits. Women are forced to live in fear while criminals are living freely.
Fanny Airale, Goma Devi Bastola, Anita Rai