The 103rd International Womens’ Day was celebrated worldwide on Friday, 8th of March and this year, I got to witness how the day was celebrated in a small picturesque village named Balthali in Kavre district. Although celebrating Womens’ Day is a relatively new concept in rural areas of Nepal, it’s better late than never. It’s good that people have started acknowledging the importance and worth of women and are lending their support to bring gender equality in the society.
The event was organized by Shree Balthali Bachat Tatha Reen Sahakaari Sanstha Ltd in association with other organizers such as Shree Ladkeshwori Naari Chetana Sahakaari, Vagvani Mahila Samuha, Rotary RCC Committee, Shree Janmajyoti Sahakaari, Mamta Nepal and CARITAS Nepal.
The village women took active part in the event and more than 200 people showed up that day. The event took place on the grounds of Shree Ladkeshwori Primary School and the event was informative as well as entertaining. The various guests representing their respective organizations talked about women empowerment, gender equality and violence against women and urged the villagers to start by making changes in their own families regarding how they view women. Whether it is eve teasing, sexual harassment, rape, female foeticide or any other form of heinous crime, everybody agreed that it is time for each individual to take action to put a stop to Gender Based Violence.
The theme for this years’ International Womens’ Day as declared by the UN was “A promise is a promise : Time for action to end violence against women.” Therefore, all the speakers present talked about how important it is to take action and not just take part in such events and programs to bring about concrete changes.
In between talks and speeches, the audience was kept entertained by various songs, poetry and dance performances. The program ended with tea and snacks for everyone and all the people present were thanked in the closing speech for taking time out from their busy schedules to be a part of the event. Hope was expressed that people would take this years’ theme seriously and that they would start making a difference in their families starting now.
The day ended on a positive note and it was good to see that the villagers are aware about such issues and are actively advocating for womens’ rights and gender equality.