In honor of International Women’s Day, we celebrate the incredible women of Nepal. Through the aftermath of the Nepali earthquakes in 2015, the Nepali women worked hard to help rebuild their communities while also healing and thriving at the same time. They are powerful women who have always worked hard to make their homes a better place. Here we share the story of one such inspiring example, engineer Kabita Gyawali.
Kabita is from one of the villages outside Kathmandu valley in Nepal. She’s also one of very few female engineers in Nepal. “During my studies for my Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering, only five of the 48 students in my class were women,” says Kabita. “There are very few civil engineers in Nepal because of the social structure of our country. After secondary school, many girls cannot continue their education,” she adds.
Kabita credits her parents for enabling her to get her Bachelor’s degree, and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Australia in specialized Civil Engineering so that she can work on more clean-water projects like the ones she helped build with ANSAB (Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources).
To date ANSAB, with help from grants from Aveda and Global Greengrants Fund, has constructed drinking water systems in nine different communities within the Dolakha, Sindhupalchok and Surkhet districts, which have provided access to clean drinking water to 662 households and two schools with approximately 250 students.
And because of Kabita’s expert engineering, the majority of the water projects she helped implement remained intact following the earthquake.
OUR CONNECTION TO NEPAL FIRST BEGAN THROUGH OUR PURCHASE OF THEIR LOKTA BARK PAPER FOR OUR HOLIDAY GIFTS SETS. DOMA (SEEN HERE) HAS BEEN A NEPALI PAPERMAKER FOR AVEDA FOR MORE THAN 12 YEARS. HER WORK CONTINUED AFTER THE EARTHQUAKES IMPACTED SO MANY LIVELIHOODS—SO HER SONS CAN GO TO SCHOOL. SHE’S PROUD OF BEING ABLE TO PROVIDE AN EQUAL CONTRIBUTION TO HER HOUSEHOLD.
“The main thing I want to say to all the girls and women in the world is that you should not give up on your dreams because you are a girl—you can go for it, and you can compete with everybody, and be successful!”
TWO YOUNG NEPALI GIRLS
Learn more about Aveda’s Earth Month and global efforts by visiting the following stories: