Dorothy’s host organization, the Centre for Agro-Ecology and Development (CAED), has partnered with AP since 2008 and works to expose and prevent threats to the reproductive health of marginalized Nepali women and girls. In 2017 we agreed to support a new CAED campaign to eliminate the shocking cultural practice of chhaupadi, which banishes women and girls to a cowshed during menstruation. After several young women died from snakebites, asphyxiation and pneumonia, the government enacted a law banning chhaupadi that will take effect this August.
Working from the CAED office in Surket district, western Nepal, the 2018 Peace Fellow will help CAED to describe its pioneering work in Gutu village, which is on the front-lines of the fight against chhaupadi, design a pilot project to assist implementation of the new law, and link CAED to advocates for reproductive rights in Kathmandu and internationally.
Champa Chalise, 14, is one of many girls and women in Gutu village who have rejected chhaupadi in response to CAED’d advocacy.
Dila Kandel, a facilitator with CAED’s Surkhet team, helps children to lobby for an end chhaupadi in the village of Gutu.
“”Working with students in rural Nepal really changed me as a person and my outlook in life. Not only was this fellowship the most challenging experience I have ever had but it was rewarding and powerful, and I would do it again.” – Dorothy Khan, the 2016 Peace Fellow in Western Nepal.