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Empowering women involves more than just improving their economic status

Despite the fact that the Constitution does not differentiate between men and women, women in Nepal face difficulty accessing education or a political voice, with females almost twice as likely to be illiterate than their male counterparts. Entrenched social norms ensure that women are not considered equal to men. Key among the challenges the women face includes poverty, unemployment and social discrimination. Despite the obstacles Nepalese women face, there are local and international organizations working for women’s empowerment.

One such organization working towards the economic empowerment of women is the Business Service Centre (BSC) works to reinforce women’s self esteem to become entrepreneurs by promoting conscious choices and overcoming barriers within the family and the community. The local organization FBPWN (Federation of Business and Professional Women, Nepal) is implementing the project BSC with the technical assistance of AIDOS (Italian Association of Women in Development)

The Challenges

According to Gabriella Cocco Greaves, Country Representative of Italian Association for Women in Development (AIDOS) in addition to social challenges like gender based violence, most families do not support women getting into business, women suffer low self esteem and a lack of confidence which makes women’s conditions severe. Consequently one of BSC key goals is to build the women’s confidence to get into business. BSC also tries to aims to build on the women’s existing skills.

“If there is a skill and the market is saturated they discourage the women from doing the same old product and find alternatives that are more marketable,” Gabriella explains.

Gabreilla also feels that empowering women involves more than just improving their economic status...

Meet some of the women who are benefiting from this project



joyacomeaux's picture

Love your Perspective!


Most programs in the world are focused on creating women's equality and mostly in the area of money and jobs.

I can tell you that it is refreshing to hear someone from Nepal say that it is not all about the money.

Having evolved through my life into a place where money is not now the top priority... it is good to know that there are others that also know that money is not everything.

I understand that the process of having it and then giving it away is freeing...but I also understand that never having had it creates a desire that needs to be fulfilled.

It is interesting to watch others in the world find that balance for themselves.


YAOtieno's picture

Hello Joy, Indeed it si good

Hello Joy,

Indeed it si good to find a balance in life. Just like you have said money is not everything, it should be part of the whole empowerment process.

I agree with wisdom of your words that "the process of having it and then giving it away is freeing...but I also understand that never having had it creates a desire that needs to be fulfilled."

Thanks for taking time to rad my article.



A candle looses nothing my lighting another

Thank you for posting this.
You are helping me learn a great deal more about development in Nepal, as well as the cultural norms (I read your other piece about culturally acceptable beatings.)
Also, I really really enjoyed your other piece (as did many others) which included the Marianne Williamson quote.
In any event!
I am heartened to learn that lenders are training women! This is key! You cannot simply hand someone a micro loan and expect them to know how to maximize and profit from the opportunity. Not everyone is a born entrepreneur!
Also, I think it is so crucial and often overlooked to evaluate whether the market is saturated! And, is there a market for the potential product that will be the outcome.
Sounds like you are doing incredible work in Nepal.
Honored to know you,

Colleen Robertson
Project Manager
New Course
Twitter: @NEW_Course

NEW Course is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit created to empower rural women in vulnerable ecosystems to sustainably manage their resourc

YAOtieno's picture


Thanks Colleen,

Your words are very encouraging. t Adios and the BSC are the real heroes of the story. I just visited their projects and wrote the article. Indeed training women and nit just lending them money is the right way to go

Looking forward to reading some success stories from Newcourse



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