Nepal: Women's Rehabilitation Center
In December 2008, The Women's Rehabilitation Center published 5 Nepali booklets based on Our Bodies, Ourselves, entitled Hamro Sharir, Hamro Ho (Our Body, Ourselves).
Despite political unrest and public resentment for their work on the rights of women and "Dalits" (a socially and economically disadvantaged group), our partner has capitalized on more than 14 years of experience and networking to overcome challenges and bring their booklets into the community - from ongoing trainings and health camps in Nepal's remote districts to a nationwide "Feminist Capacity Building" project to train young women leaders.
To give us a sense of their impact, the coordinator recently wrote saying: “…our intervention and solidarity with community women had made a huge difference at policy and at field level. Day before yesterday we did a health camp here where 534 women came to seek help, to understand themselves and to get trained from feminist perspective. That was an overwhelming experience… Our obo's [booklets] at this moment are making [this] possible…”
Beyond grassroots, outreach done by our partner has also reached policy makers and international agencies. For example: they have collaborated with government ministries on a national health strategy focused on women; conducted trainings on gender and violence for 12 district governments and nonprofit groups; and organized a Women's Tribunal on poverty, attended by the State Health Minister, to document how and the implications of denying women health care.
“Democracy is the bottom line for any person to demand their rights...”
As Nepal slowly transitions from a monarchy to a fledgling democracy, our partner continues to influence the country's political transformation. In 2007, they were part of a coalition responsible for the inclusion of reproductive health rights in the interim constitution; and are now working to ensure no ground is lost and these rights are included in the final constitution.
They have also submitted a related memorandum to the Ministry of Health and Population and collaborated with ISIS-WICCE on a national project on justice for rape survivors.
If you would like more information about this project and explore ways you might get involved, please contact the OBOS Global Initiative staff.
Meet Our Partner
In 1991, a group of activists established the Women’s Rehabilitation Center in response to the unmet needs of a woman who had been trafficked and experienced extreme abuse and violation of her rights.
The organization continues to work towards minimizing gender based violence and ensuring economic, social and cultural rights through nationwide grassroots and institutional partnerships and programs on trafficking, women human rights defenders, food security, health, and safe migration. Their services include:
- A hotline for women facing violence. Call 1-660-01-78910.
- Safe houses, counseling, and legal support for women facing violence in five districts.
- Seven safe migration information booths in every district where they work.
- Twenty-six women’s health counseling centers in three districts run by barefoot gynecologists.
- Thirty early childhood development centers in three districts.
Their work challenging the status quo in a deeply patriarchal society has often placed the organization in danger; and similar to violence endured by human rights defenders elsewhere, attacks on them have included physical and sexual intimidation, verbal abuse and death threats. With little support from law enforcement authorities, the organization continues to put itself on the frontline and bring health information to thousands of women and girls across the country.
Some of their other resources include: Insight (a bi-annual publication focusing on women’s rights issues); Sayapatri (a publication on women’s health for rural community women); Anweshi (an annual publication on violence against women in Nepal); Advocacy Update (a quarterly update on national and international advocacy activities undertaken by the organization); and What Happens When Women Take Actions (a research report on the constraints and strategy mechanisms of Women Human Rights Defenders in Nepal).
Contact information for Women's Rehabilitation Center:
Contact Person: Renu Rajbhandari
Address: PO Box 13233, Balkumari, Lalitpur, Nepal
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
You can read excerpts from the booklets online. You can also read the introduction to the booklets, translated into English.
Looking for a Copy?
If you would like full copies of the Nepali booklets, please contact the Women’s Rehabilitation Center’s Documentation Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.