Click on the image above to read the full PDF introduction to the December 10th Appeal 2015-17
This December 10th the International President
would like, once again, to harness the collective power and generosity of all
four Federations of Soroptimist International, in support of women and girls in
Nepal, as they take steps to rebuild their lives, following the devastating
earthquakes of April 25 and May 12, 2015. The focus within Nepal will be on
education and leadership, agreed as the theme by SI‘s members until 2021.
Historically, the President’s Appeal has supported those
women and girls most in need around the world and this year the goal remains
the same. Nepal is amongst the poorest and least developed countries in the
world, with approximately one-quarter of its population living below the
poverty line. Heavily dependent on remittances, amounting to as much as 22-25
percent of GDP, Nepal’s
agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing a livelihood for more
than 70 percent of the population. Of course, as in every country in the world,
women and girls bear the brunt of the poverty. Reports found that female
literacy (those over the age of 15 years able to read and write), is just
44.5%, with male literacy at 71%. *The Nepal Living Standards Survey 2010- 2011
In Nepal girls tend to be enrolled in public
school, whilst boys are more likely to be enrolled in private school, where
they achieve much higher educational outcomes.In the workplace the average
participation of women in executive committees is just 12% *Un Women. 40% of
all girls under the age of 18 are married and statistics show that one in
fourteen girls under the age of 18 has given birth. There are now an estimated 577,000 child
brides living in Nepal.
Growth for Nepal is an uphill climb. With a
landlocked geographical location, persistent power shortages, underdeveloped
transportation & infrastructure, civil strife and labor unrest; such
challenges are heightened by Nepal’s susceptibility to natural disaster. Whilst disasters create
hardships for all, women and girls suffer disproportionately. No matter the
country in which a disaster strikes, more women are at risk both during and
following the disaster period due to existing gender inequities.
Women are amongst the poorest, with increased
caregiving responsibilities, they lack mobility, and access to available resources.
Add to this their vulnerability to violence, rape and sexual exploitation, all
of which greatly increase following disasters, it is clear that these women and
girls need our help. Women with particular needs such as pregnant and lactating
women, disabled women, elderly women and those from female-headed households,
often find themselves the last to receive aid.
Social norms, lack of information, long walking hours and the burden of
household chores often affect their access to aid.
However there is much hope. Women are often
found to be remarkable change agents and leaders, both with-in their own
households and at community-level. The change that subsequently follows
disaster, can up open new ‘space’ for
women and girls, new opportunities to expand their roles within society,
creating the possibility for growth and development. Rather than remain solely
passive victims of disasters, women need to be provided with opportunities to
take up these roles as change agents, to gain personal self-confidence, learn
leadership skills and emerge from the crisis as community leaders.
Click on the link below to read more & view/download a PDF version of
‘Educate to Lead: Nepal’
If you wish to make donations please do so through your own Federation.