What a girl can and can’t do

Kanak Mani Dixit is the co-founder of SIRC, along with his wife Shanta.  Sadly, Kanak’s father passed away at the end of December.  May “Dada” rest in peace.

This article is an account of Dada’s final cremation rites, written from Kanak’s sister’s perspective.

In Hindu culture, women are not allowed to take part in the cremation ceremony at all and this was particularly difficult for the writer, who’s profession focuses on gender equality in Nepal.

With the encouragement of family, she ended up taking part in this important ritual of her father’s cremation.

She writes “In my line of work, I often spout theories about gender equality and equity, and how women in Nepal should be provided equal opportunities. That day I realised it was not enough just to provide opportunities or to wish for change.

You need someone to push you, and you need someone to pull you. On 29 December, it was my uncle and sister-in-law who gave me the push, and my brothers who pulled me.”

You can read the full article here.

When brothers, uncles and sisters-in-law are encouraging women to be considered equal to men in Nepal, elsewhere across the US, women are feeling their rights will be threatened with today’s swearing in of the 45th President of the United States.   The mind boggles that we are even talking about this!

It’s telling when the Women’s March on Washington has captured the imagination of women world-wide with 615 marches (and counting) being staged all over the globe as I write this, expressing solidarity with women in the US.

As one 70+ year-old lady said, little did she know when she marched for women’s rights in the 1960s, that she would be marching again for the same issue in 2017.

A sad state of affairs for sure.  Why not get out there to show your support, if not for yourself but for all the fine women in your life.

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
This entry was posted in Nepal and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to What a girl can and can’t do

  1. George says:

    Watched a very revealing Ted talk recently (by Ashley Judd) about how bad online abuse of women has become. Crazy really! It indeed makes me wonder if we’ve truly progressed since that march in 60s… and how much further we still have left to remedy this.

    Here’s the talk (warning: strong language):

    • Kate Coffey says:

      Yiu are right George, the last 50-60 years we must have been fooling ourselves that real change in attitudes towards women had taken place dring that time. I guess we underestimated the resistance to such change. Thanks for the link to the Ted Talk, I’ll check it out tonight. Hope all is well with you!!

      • George says:

        Doing well Kate. Hope you are too. CRIMS is live now and Moxy is set to be turned off at the end of next month. Somehow I thought things would slow down a bit after we went live. But that certainly is not the case!

      • Kate Coffey says:

        Nothing is ever slow at CCL, you should know that by now. Moxy no longer – wow! A milestone for the company … I bet you will not be sorry to see it go. Say Hi to everyone for me!

      • George says:

        Good point! Will do!

    • Kate Coffey says:

      George my goodness, I am completely appalled and to be honest, has no idea how bad this really was. She is courageous in her presentation, I’ll track of this. Thanks for sharing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s