SI Assistant Director of Advocacy, Sharon Fisher explains: “Nepal is a small country. In the hills and valleys of Nepal, in small isolated villages, live 30 million of the poorest people in the world. Here, in rural Nepal educational and medical facilities are limited and many children are undernourished. With half the population under 23 years of age and around 40% under 18, many women and girls face a future largely dominated by caring for their families. The cost of tuition, uniforms and books means that education is often unaffordable and if a family has the means to send a child to school, a son is given this opportunity before a daughter. Nepal is a source country for trafficking, and girls face the danger of being recruited for the brothels of India.
On April 25, 2015, a devastating earthquake followed by aftershocks displaced millions of people. Despite the huge amount of funds raised, disaster aid often fails to reach these areas where 80% of the population are locate. As Soroptimists, we know that in a disaster, women and girls suffer disproportionately. We also know that education for women & girls is key to economic empowerment. The world community has set a deadline of 2030 for inclusive and equitable quality education for all. Educating women and girls in rural Nepal gives this and the next generation the tools and the opportunity to fight against continued poverty.