International Women’s Day 2021: paving the way for empowerment
35 year-old Laxmi lives in Bhagwatitar, a small village in Nepal’s hilly region. A mother of two, she looks after her household and grows crops to feed her family.
In Nepal, women are traditionally responsible for collecting water. Where there is no clean water source, they often have to collect potentially dirty water from contaminated sources, such as muddy communal wells with harmful bacteria.
In partnership with UK Aid, we continue to provide access to clean water in Nepal, as well as sanitation education to help create a better life for those living in remote communities.
When we came to Laxmi’s village to start working on their new water system, she was eager to help out, not just to bring safe water there, but to gain new skills too.
Before we can build a new water source, we set up a village committee. Forming these committees empowers the community themselves to take responsibility for the project, which ensures it’s sustainability into the future. Laxmi was keen to join the committee as a Maintenance Worker, helping with the building, maintaining and repairing of the water project.
“I was the only woman to put my name forward as a Maintenance Worker. I wanted to learn and show that women can also work with men.”
“I wanted to set the goal to motivate my other female friends that we can conquer this. As a result, my friend Saraswoti also joined with me to work as a Maintenance Worker.”
Laxmi gained essential new skills during her training.
“I felt so good after receiving my training. I did not know anything about construction materials. But, on-the-job training helped me to sharpen my skills and knowledge in construction work.”
“If the water project ever needs to be repaired, I am confident that I can manage it properly and effectively.”
“At first it was not easy. But, I found similar to working in household activities. I picked up skills just in three days. I earnt a wage for my work during construction work. The best thing is that it is equal wages for both men and women.”
“As a woman, it is very hard to manage the household work. But, I managed household work AND construction work. Women can also work effectively and earn money if there are equal opportunities. I feel so proud. It means a lot to me and my family.”
“Thank you GWT for providing me with opportunities to learn new things that helped me to put forward my opinions and ability to work alongside men. Thank you also for giving us clean water”