Why are there so few women leaders in Nepal, in any field you can name? And what can we do to develop leadership skills in women?
These were some of the questions OWN IT Nepal, a one-day women leadership summit on March 31, explored. The event, held on the occasion of International Women’s Month, and organized by Women LEAD Nepal, took place in Bougainvilla Banquets, Tripureshwor, and saw more than 250 youths come together to celebrate and normalize women’s leadership. The event was organized with an aim to bridge the gap between female leaders and the young women who admire them.
The event was separated into four different sessions: the mainstage panel, the breakout sessions, the workshops and the office-hour sessions. Apart from the mainstage panel, all the other three experimental sessions were curated in a fashion where young women could learn essential leadership skills from accomplished young female leaders of Nepali society. The mainstage panel saw discussions between ‘Women in Public Service and Politics’ with Shanta Manavi (Former Livestock and Poultry Development Minister), Ranju Darshana (Former mayoral candidate for Kathmandu) and Srijana Tiwari (Undersecretary, Ministry of General Administration). Another one was among ‘Women Trailblazers’ with Maya Gurung (Seven Summits), Priya Adhikari (Helicopter Pilot), and Saraswati Adhikari (Circus Kathmandu). Likewise, the third one, ‘Leading Feminist Change’, featured Durga Sob (Founding President of the Feminist Dalit Organization), Dhruba Ghimire (General Secretary of Rural Women’s Action Network), and Laxmi Tamang (Vice President of Women’s Rehabilitation Center).
The mainstage panel was open to everyone attending the event, and smaller experimental sessions were facilitated by women leaders of their respective fields. In organizing this event, OWN IT Nepal created a platform for young women to get inspired, and interact with the women in leadership roles in government and civil society.