Sunita Basnet

In urban areas, women are educated enough and are aware of their rights; but as my own experience from rural village of Mrigauliya, Nepal reveals, we women do not have rights in our own body. Before marriage, we exist to support our parents and after marriage our body is  for our husbands and family members. Primarily the male family members decide what they want to do to our bodies. Many girls are forced to marry between the ages of 15-18. Most women, especially in rural parts of Nepal, are ignored politically, culturally, socially, and economically.

When I was 10 years old, my maternal aunt died after giving birth to a child. It is said that she was having the pregnancy problem for a week and was kept separately outside of house (in a temporary house made of bamboo especially for pregnancy), where children and men weren’t allowed to see her. All my relatives and neighbors believed that it was normal to have pregnancy symptoms for a week; but unfortunately, my aunt died two days after giving birth to a daughter. She died because of blood loss.

Because of superstitious beliefs, people thought that my newborn cousin took my aunt’s life. Thereafter no one cared for her. I still remember the moment when I was not allowed to touch my cousin when she was crying with her hungry stomach. Finally, my cousin passed away after two days. Since that day, I realized that I have to do something in my community so that none of the innocent people like my cousin and my aunt would have to be the victim of such mispractices and superstitious beliefs deeply rooted in the societies. I realized that activities that create awareness will be instrumental to addressing this problem, at least to some extent if not fully. Over many years, I have regularly been engaged in various activities and am still highly motivated to work on these fronts.

If I am selected as a winner of the Young Visionaries Contest grant, I will organize an awareness program which includes drama and free heath check ups for both men and women in my community as well as in some other rural parts of Nepal. I choose to organize a play by mobilizing young people rather than teaching health education to men and women because about 80% of the total populations of my community are illiterate. Even the 20% of the population which is literate does not care much about of women’s health.

Furthermore, I want to start from grassroots level by educating both men and women through the means of play. The social issues such as early marriage, birth spacing, class & caste system, maternal health problem, use of contraceptives, safe abortion, gender discrimination, and issues related with single women will be themetized in the play.

The reason why I have chosen as the location the Village Development Committee office area is that it will be an accessible for most targeted people so that it can have greater influence on a greater mass of people. I believe that, to make women aware of their rights, we also need to include men especially in a patriarchal community like mine so that they will also be aware and support their daughters and wives’ activities – therefore the participation of male members is equally important.

The program will be carried out in partnership with the Women’s Saving Group, a club in which I have been working as the founder. The project will also be supported by Mrigauliya Village Development Committee.

Sunita Basnet

56 responses to “Sunita Basnet

  1. Just a quick reminder, do you all vote me by registering your self..
    You all need to register yourself in order to vote for me.
    First register your self then search my name and vote….
    I hope you all go through the process.
    Lvoe much and thanks for your appreciation.

  2. Process to Vote:
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    Check your email: Word press will send you your user name, password and the link to login in.
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    It’s time to vote for me and support my project.
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  3. Hi Sunita, many development drives are focused on urban areas while villages are often neglected. I think its a great idea for you to focus on that aspect. Good luck! Hope you win.

  4. Dear Sunita!!
    Reading on ur words i found that you have truely understood the situations of women in Nepal. The case you have mentioned about ur maternal aunt is a very good example which shows that people of Nepal, for sure, need a lot to be told and made understood. Nepal is a country where, believing on some superstitious views set years ago, people and community tends to abuse the natural on going process about woman in general. Isolating woman in the time of child birth, in the time of regular menstruation cycle is definitely a very wrong practice. I have seen many cases with my eyes and the end effect of such isolations. Not only in rural areas but these things takes place in family of learned people too!!

    Respecting ur vision, my vote falls for u and wish you loads n loads of luck in turning ur visions to a reality. Hope u succeed in having people develop a new level of understanding. Good luck once again.

  5. Dear Sunit,

    Iam very interested to go through the paper written by you on Women’s Land Ownership and Empowerment: A Case Study of Mrigauliya Village Development Committee Nepal.If you can please share with me.Hope you will do the needful action

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