Women Awareness Center Nepal

To Our Friends and Supporters

Prativa Subedi

As we go forward, we continue to believe that a focus on poverty alleviation will be the most effective measure in empowering women, men, and children as well as generally improving the lives of disadvantaged people.  We have designed an economic model that brings women into leadership roles. Our savings and credit cooperatives and community based development activities enable women to address their strategic needs, become financially secure, enter the decision-making processes of their households, and, overall, become more active in their community. Their achievements in these areas benefit the entire family. Our main strategy is to build the capacity of women’s groups, registering them as cooperatives, thus allowing them to operate as an independent institution. Our success lies in the fact that where we were once initiating development work, women’s groups are now using our methods to execute their own development activities. WACN’s cost-effective poverty reduction programs can be replicated throughout the developing world.  

We must now meet the demands of women’s groups scattered across Nepal that have approached WACN for support in developing their local organizations. Training is crucial. After women receive training, they more fully utilize the savings and credit line available to them, becoming empowered in the process. At present (2011), WACN has 41 women’s cooperatives, ranging from 500 to 1200 women shareholders, consisting, in total, of over 30,000 members. With little outside funding,  WACN has generated more than $4 million in women's savings and investments.  We primarily serve four districts of Nepal: the VDCs of Kavre, Chitwon, Makwanpur and Kathmandu. However, we also provide training and support to women in other districts. Currently, WACN advocates for the strengthening of existing women's groups, a better allocation of government resources, and a more effective implementation of legal rights already granted to women. WACN is also in the process of launching a campaign to include more women in the decision-making processes of the local government. While the Interim Constitution mandates that 33% of the state mechanisms comprise women, only the Constituent Assembly meets this quota. Representation of women in other civil sectors remains low.  This problem is partially due to the suspension of local elections in 2002. Their re-enactment would provide women with the means to enter grassroots politics. 

WACN has been able to work in a sustainable way through the determination and commitment of board members, staff, and volunteers.  We have found the strength to move ahead from the encouragement of cooperative members and friends. We are also thankful for external funding from donors. MISEREOR Germany and Helvetas Nepal supported us for the first ten years. Canadian Cooperation office (CCO) and Enabling State Program Nepal provided a short-term grant for one year. Recently, Global Fund for Women, Monteview women’s group, International Development Exchange (IDEX), Give2Asia and Cottier Donze foundation have been providing support. We have found that short term funding that lasts only one year does not contribute meaningfully to community based development work and women's empowerment campaign. More long-term support is needed to sufficiently prepare the community for a successful handover of power and the continuation of the goals from the women's empowerment campaign. 
 
    • February 6th, 2012
    • WACN
    • Prativa Subedi
    • President

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