Dedication on Rural WOMEN empowerment through EDUCATION & SKILLS
Leaders power story by Dr. Meena Singh Khadka (Meena Didi), educator, women’s rights activist, social worker and an advocate for global women empowerment
My name is Dr. Meena Singh Khadka, and I am an educator, women’s rights activist, social worker and an advocate for global women empowerment who has been working tirelessly for over four decades, to bring about positive change to countless lives through my actions to promote women leadership and solidarity.
I have been actively involved in various women’s and important education projects across the globe, from Japan to the United States, India, DR Congo, and my homeland of Nepal where I’m currently involved in a nation wide women’s education project alongside leading my women initiatives in community building and promoting women leaders in society.
For much of my professional career, I was involved in teaching and researching in some of the most prestigious universities and academic circles around the world, yet my true passion was always in serving my community in Nepal and especially combating the patriarchy, and the limits placed on women, by expanding new horizons for opportunities and women led projects, in education, healthcare, community building and women rights.
I am a firm believer in the fact that women rights are universal human rights and thus, women have to lead in society to safeguard not only their futures and lives, but ensure the holistic growth of society in a positive manner. For women, to truly lead in society however, education is a must thus, I have dedicated my life to empowering women through education and learning in various fields which pertain not only to academia, but most importantly skill building and vocational education to provide real life skills for women especially in rural communities to earn and make an economic mark in their local societal structures.
In the various Himalayan villages of Nepal where I’m most active and believe that my expertise and work ethic is most needed, I transitioned from Dr. Meena to the astute Meena Didi- or, Dear Sister Meena. With that I become a figure and name to relate to for many rural women as a pillar of community leadership, someone who can tackle the local patriarchy which is so prevalent in these communities and give a voice to these underprivileged women. As Meena Didi I’m grateful I’ve become an inspiration for many, especially to inspire others by my ability to achieve much with very little resources. Throughout my years of service to humanity, I have never relied on any corporate office space or big funding to carry out my projects but instead I rely on my vast network of grassroot organizations and local women leadership nurtured over the years through the unrelenting work to uplift the women of Nepal.
I have been involved in many educational projects, including an early project that focused on teaching many illiterate people how to exemplify their identity and validate it in a way, and many experienced for the first time how to write their own name.
As a firm believer in a women’s education, with a belief that an educated woman not only educates herself but her entire family, and with building blockways for the entire community, I have organized many women led projects that focus on children’s education and scholarship programs that allow for greater social mobility amongst the peoples of the rural communities of Nepal.
I have successfully led major teacher training programs across Nepal, in an effort to modernize their teaching standards and promote effective communication and actions between teachers and students in classrooms. I’m grateful that with these activities we’ve touched the lives of many children and orphans in the rural communities of Nepal, as well as the Urban centers of Kathmandu and Pokhara where many street children have benefited from the women led education programs. Amongst one of many social achievements has been also the successful implementation of braille learning for many visually impaired women in rural Nepal. Many of them have successfully completed now their graduate and post graduate (PHD) programs in multiple fields. I’m priud i have continued most of these projects through minimal funding and my own initiatives.
Currently I’m involved with my largest and most efficient project till date, focused on Adult Women Education throughout multiple districts and communities around rural Nepal. Titled, “Meena Didi Women Literacy Class”, these classes which are all led by women leaders in the various communities of the Himalayas focus on empowering women, not only through basic education and literacy skill training, but also provide a mandate for economic upliftment for women who can now trade with local markets for their indigenous products and grow the communal industry complex.
Nepal is one of the countries with highest proportion of people working in foreign countries providing the nation with much needed remittance income, however, the cost has been that all of the skilled human power has been diverted, and hence, many illiterate and impoverished women of Nepal were thrust into new positions of leadership that they were not accustomed to and lacked the skills to lead their communities.
Thus, to counter this grave problem and safeguard these rural societies, I have launched my literacy program which now operates alongside a vast network of grassroots workers, activists and teachers who not only help uplift the education quality available to these communities but take an active role in conducting healthcare classes, disaster and risk management skills and most importantly organizing the women into a force of good. For perhaps the first time in decades long, self initiated campaign to empower women, and since the project and network has expanded so much, I have been seeking global help to bring more awareness to this issue of true women empowerment. Although I expand / continue my projects on a scale that would bring positive changes to the lives of countless communities throughout the Himalayas of Nepal, these programs need funding. Since the literacy projects have been successfully implemented over such a vast landscape, a centralized center of operations for the women leadership is now imperative.
I’m grateful that my work and service to humanity are acknowledged not just by women, but also by my male peers. I’m appreciative to be recognized as one of the few grassroots women leaders in this part of the world, to have such a gender boundary transitioning impact and truly combat the patriarchy through my actions to uplift women. Through all these activities and service we’ve proven to many that Women are capable of leading from the front in Nepal, and I continue to strive everyday to better the lives and foster the spirits of Nepalese women.