Formation and Capacity Building of Women’s Groups and Federations Details
Because of the socio-cultural system in Nepal, poor and disadvantaged women face violence, oppression, contempt, exploitation from the family as well as the community. Thus they loose their self-esteem and self-respect. WATCH plays a critical role in organising, mobilising and strengthening groups of such women so that they can solve their own problems.
Until now, WATCH has formed 272 women’s groups, 70 children’s groups and 35 groups of people with disabilities, and hundreds of community forestry user groups in Nepal, with more than 5500 families are directly involved.
WATCH has supported the formation of federations and assisted in the capacity building of such groups. There are eight Federations supported by WATCH, including national level organizations like Our Iron Fists, Jaagriti Mahila Sangh (sex workers’ organization), Asha Jyoti Sahayog Samaj and Samuha (PLHA organization), District Organization of Disabled People. Similar Federations and organizations are formed in other areas also. WATCH has helped these federations and organizations to get financial support from national and international donors. Seven of these federations have built their own office buildings with support from WATCH and local government agencies. WATCH is mobilising these organisations to implement its process and programmes.
WATCH has supported the Federations in planning, implementation and monitoring to make their activities effective and transparent. During the planning process, attempts are made to identify locally available resources, make resource and social maps, conduct transect walks, look for possibilities and so on. After that, a five year visioning and one year action plan are developed with the participation of group members. Based on the yearly plan, monthly action plans are developed for implementation and monitored regularly. Recently, women’s groups and federations are focusing on violence, rape and stigma on women. They are taking action by themselves and even taking cases to the police and court. Just recently, an uncle who raped an eight year old girl was given 10 years prison for rape, three years for incest, and half of the property was given to victim by the court. There was a tremendous pressure from all sides to withdraw the case. Women’s groups and federations took a very active part in making citizenship certificates and having vital registrations. They are also involved in tenancy rights and preparing for the Constituent Assembly election.