Recently a friend from Durgapur, a town west of us, asked me to give a one day advocacy class. She wanted me to tell about the work of Samunnat and the help that Samunnat could give to women in her area who were in situations of violence. I didn’t just want to talk about violence but about empowering ALL women to help one another.
The lady was the President of the local JCI group and she organised the hall and khaja (snacks). We invited women from all around the area of Surungar which is 15 kms away from our office. I decided to discuss three topics related to women’s rights and asked three of my colleagues to help me. We had my lawyer friend, Bhim; my entrepreneur friend, Sabitra; and myself. We were so surprised by how many people were interested in the topics of the class. I didn’t want it to be boring but useful and realistic. I hadn’t expected that the number of participants would be this many!
The first hour Bhim told the women about property rights of women in Nepal. It was very interactive. The women could talk about their problems and understanding the law of the courts.
The second hour we played a Brainstorming Game which the women enjoyed very much. Sabitra gave the women ideas about how to start their own home based income businesses and earn the income. She talked about how they could sell vegetables, milk, dhoop (incense) and home made pickles.
In the last hour, I talked about the laws against domestic violence and described how our bahini-haru (sisters) are fighting together so bravely. I heartily requested them that if they wanted to do something for women that we had to stand together and start with helping each other and loving each other. Not thinking big things to make our selves bigger. I said, Let’s get ready and tell people we will tolerate no more violence against women.
The participants were so impressed and many wanted to follow up by contacting Samunnat or phone us. This is an important part of my work for Samunnat.