Guiding light

KATHMANDU:

Here’s another way to empower women. All you need to do is sacrifice your Saturday morning. However, if you are going to be in the company of illustrious women, you will perhaps not care two hoots about getting up early on a holiday.

Well, that was what those participating in the We for Women’s Mentor Walk on July 7 did. This was the first of its kind walk in Nepal, which has been started by Aashmi Rana, chairperson of We for Women. Rana, who had participated in the International Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership in the US, was impressed by it and decided to conduct a similar walk here.

Professional women (mentors) who have made a mark in various fields were paired with students (mentees) and they walked for around 45 minutes around the Army headquarters ground at Sundhara sharing experiences and answering the young girls’ queries.

Lauren Moriarty, wife of the American ambassador, said, “Though mentorship is a new concept in Nepal, the mentor, usually an older and more experienced person guides, educates, supports and nurtures someone else. She watches over the progress of her mentee, a young person who is just starting out in her career and life.”

She felt such a programme would surely lead mentees on a smooth road and make them aware of wrong turns and probable accidents.

Perhaps Shalini Wadhwa, Chief Executive and Editor of the boss and VOW, put it best when she said, “Women love to talk about themselves and their accomplishments, and you have given us such a good platform, a captive audience that is going to listen to every word we say as if it were the words from God.”

She believes it necessary for women to support and encourage each other.

Talking about her experience as a mentor social activist Bandana Rana said, “It was a wonderful experience. It was like having so many daughters who actually listened. No one was there to give us advice when we started our careers. This programme is needed and appropriate in today’s context.”

Sneha Sharma from Xavier Academy, who had Moriarty as her mentor, said, “The most important thing I learnt from her is managing time. Despite being so busy with her work, she also manages her family and makes time for herself.”

It was a memorable experience for the participants, but it was not a one day event, as it ended with a commitment to follow it up and do it for a lifetime.