Nepali women celebrate International Women’s Day in Boston

March 15, 2013

Nepali women living in Boston celebrated the 102nd International Women’s Day on March 9, 2013. The event was organized in the joint effort of NWGN (Nepali Global Women’s Network) and Nepali Mahila Awaz, USA. While the event celebrated womanhood, it also highlighted some of the issues and challenges Nepali women living in America face, specifically, domestic violence. Various speakers on the occasion pressed for the need for community awareness on domestic violence and encouraged women to fight the stigma attached to speaking up about it, or reporting it.

The program started with Bharati Gautam, Vice President, NWGN, speaking briefly on the importance of the International Women’s Day, followed by Rukmini Karki, President, NWGN, explaining the goals and visions of NWGN. Sonja Darai, Executive Director, Somerville Women’s Commission then astonished the crowd with her fluency in Nepali. Dr Meena Singh Khadka took the stage at the end, and encouraged everybody to reach out, to share knowledge with each other, to achieve their maximum potentials by constantly evolving and finding ways to empower themselves.

The beautiful poem by Deepa Rai, delightful dance performance by Lalita Sharma, and the soulful voice of Hari Maya Khatiwada added vigor to the event. Informative and a great opportunity to catch up to other Nepali women, we definitely recommend all the didibahinis in Boston to attend such events in future. Kudos to the organizers!

NWGN is a well-known organization founded in 2002 and needs no introduction (www.nepaliwomen.org), but many of us may not be familiar with Nepali Mahila Awaz, USA, which is still in its infancy. Seven Nepali women from Boston founded the organization, all of who are well known for having served the local Nepali community for many years.

Meet the founding members of Nepali Mahila Awaz, USA and the organizers of the event.

Bharati Gautam, Vice President, NWGN (2013)
Bishnu Maya Pariyar, Founder, Empower Dalit Women Of Nepal (EDWON)
Devi Oli, Treasurer, Greater Boston Nepali Community (GBNC)(2013)
Dr Meena Singh Khadka, Social Entrepreneur, Educationist
Milan Thapa, Social worker
Rukmini Karki, President, NWGN (2013)
Dr Usha Sharma, Professor, Bunker Hill Community College

One of the main goals of Nepali Mahila Awaz is to provide advocacy support to Nepali women in need. Here are a few examples as to how they would like to accomplish that.

Hotline for Nepali Women

Hotline services have assisted many in need and saved lives. Dr Usha Sharma said that the organization is working on implementing similar tool geared specifically to Nepali women. So stay tuned for our very own Hotline service, and let’s hope this service will help our didibahinis in need. A great initiative indeed!

Address Domestic Violence in Nepali Diaspora

“Domestic violence is more common that you think,” says Bishnu Maya Pariyar, who shared a few such cases that she has come across. According to her, many Nepali women are suffering in silence and in fact many have returned back to Nepal due to depression and mental disorders caused by domestic violence, and the numbers of such cases is only growing along with the rise in Nepali population in the Boston area. Having handled many such cases she thinks we are at a point as a community where we now need a formal body to address the issue and that individual support from friends and family is no longer adequate.

Domestic Abuse Victims path to Permanent Residency

How many of us are aware of this right? Did you know that abused spouses of US Citizens and Permanent Residents can apply for permanent residency through I-360 petition? Visit USCIS for more information: http://www.uscis.gov. “If you are a victim of domestic violence, you don’t need to fear deportation, and not only this, there is countless of support in place. What you need is to know what is available out there, and this is where Nepali Mahila Awaz is looking to provide its advocacy and support,” says Dr Usha Sharma.

Click here for the pictures.

One Response to Nepali women celebrate International Women’s Day in Boston

  1. Anonymous on November 20, 2015 at 10:48 PM

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