Those who turned adversity into triumph
With a slogan of ‘Each for Equal’, the International Women’s Day is being celebrated across the world this year on Sunday. In this regard, four exceptional women who have battled all odds to make a mark in their respective sectors spoke to Arpana Ale Magar of The Himalayan Times of their experiences, as well as initiatives to promote women empowerment. Excerpts:
Due to my involvement in the tourism industry since the last six decades, I have witnessed the evolution of the Nepali market very closely. A working woman was not taken in positive light back then and it was challenging to establish myself in this sector that is by and large male-dominated.
We have taken tremendous strides since then, with women now being well educated, having better work environment and getting the platform to display their calibre. Despite these progress, women continue to struggle to maintain their work-life balance.
However, the only mantra to be successful in any field is dedication.
The government has also initiated various measures to boost the presence of women in all kinds of economic activities, but it will go to waste if the targeted group (women) are unable to tap into such opportunities. At Dwarika’s, we have been organising leadership workshops and seminars for young girls to boost their confidence. - Ambica Shrestha, Chairperson of Dwarika’s Hotel
In my 27 years of experience in the banking sector, I feel the women today have been unable to identify the available opportunities.
I find it quite ironical because when I started my professional career, there were hardly any opportunities for women, especially in the financial sector.
While the government has introduced several policies targeting women entrepreneurs, all the banks and financial institutions have also arranged for easy loan services with low-interest rates for them. Hence, establishing a business for women is quite easy these days. But due to lack of financial literacy, a large number of women continue to confine themselves to their household duties. Considering this issue, Mega Bank has been conducting several awareness programmes regarding financial literacy targeting women. - Anupama Khunjeli, CEO of Mega Bank Nepal
Ever since I entered the share market, people have told me that this is not a profession for women. Our society continues to objectify women based on their physical appearance rather than intellectual prowess.
But things have certainly changed over the past decade, with the number of women investors in the share market growing notably these days. As women tend to be more cautious than men, they tend to make prudent investment decisions. In this regard, the share market could be a useful platform for them to multiply their savings, which can make them financially independent.
We have not organised women-specific campaigns as such, but do regularly conduct skills and knowledge enhancement programmes, where the participation of women has been increasing in recent years.
- Radha Pokhrel, President of Nepal Punjibazar Laganikarta Sangh