(pic from left: Montessori Rajbhandari, Manju Mishra, Indira Manandhar, Bandana Rana, Mallika Bhattarai, Anupa Shrestha, Pooja Manandhar and Mandira Raut)
IAWRT Nepal was formed around the time of the cessation of 10-years of conflict, which claimed 16,000 lives. Its genesis was in December 2006 through a consensus reached by the forty participants of a national conference on The Role of Media Women in the Reconstruction Process. This national regional meeting involved people from five districts around the country. The group was then governed by an ad hoc committee of nine members. This committee was later officially registered in Lalitpur Chief District office in September 2007. The Nepal chapter received its charter in October 2007 at the IAWRT 32nd Biennial Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya.
Bandana Rana was the inaugural Chair of the IAWRT Nepal chapter and served until 2015, she was also a member of the international board and an IAWRT Vice President.
The next large meeting was an IAWRT regional meeting, "Women Building Peace" in December 2007, which involved participants from 18 countries. The group also developed a three-year partnership with Oklahoma university and members travelled there to take part in several workshops including Gender Sensitive Visual Storytelling and Leadership of Women in Media.
The chapter took part in a UNSCR1325 preparatory meeting on the role which women should play in conflict resolution; and partially as a result of their work, Nepal agreed on an National Action Plan to put the resolution into effect. Members produced documentaries on women’s participation in the Constituent Assembly and on the Domestic Violence Act in a post conflict scenario, as well as joining with other other media organisations to conduct orientation for journalists on UNSCR 1325.
Anupa Shrestha was elected the Nepal IAWRT chapter head in 2015. The chapter has continued its work with media women, conducting safety training for journalists, workshops on radio and TV presentation and a session on the evolution of communication. The massive Nepal earthquakes of 25th April 2015, and the difficulties it posed for the media and the consequent damage to Nepal, has defined more recent activities of the chapter. Women journalists have faced the mental and emotional impact of the earthquake, which is the one of the major invisible aspects of the disaster. To overcome the trauma, and the raised degrees of stress and to help media workers to stay relaxed in stressful situations, IAWRT Nepal organized a yoga therapy program for women journalists which was focused on woman who were still in trauma, due to the earthquake. IAWRT Nepal has also run an art therapy workshop for rural women who have very little left, after the earthquake.
At the IAWRT Biennial in New Delhi in September 2015, Anupa Shrestha was also elected to the international board of IAWRT. She resigned from those positions in November 2017 in oder to run for a position in the government of Nepal. we wish Anupa luck in her political career. Montessori Rajbhandari the vice chapter head took over as head of the Nepal chapter.
The Nepal chapter has continued its activities, sharing the IAWRT research project on gender mainstreaming in Kathmandu in November 2015, to discuss its implications for Nepali media, in particular the need for policy makers, gender workers and media workers (houses) to be sensitized about gender equality and social justice in non-news programs. Also in November, IAWRT Nepal organized a Reproductive Health Documentary Screening and Workshop on “REFLECTING HER” the long documentary produced by IAWRT, and supported by FOKUS. The main objective of this workshop was to increase awareness about the various reproductive health problems that women are facing in in other parts of the world and analyze the present status of those issues in Nepal.
Vice Chapter Head
Sangita Pant Thapa
Post Box 7770, Ekantakuna, Kathmandu, Nepal
+977 1 53 19 06 / 53 81 06 (Home)