Kate Bollinger

Kate Bollinger (Women’s Reproductive Rights Program – WRRP): Kate’s interest in Nepal began when she studied for a semester in Nepal as an undergraduate. She then went on to study for a Master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oxford. While at Oxford, Kate pursued field research and language study in Sikkim, India and Kathmandu, Nepal. Her research in this area continued as an intern and consultant in the Anthropology Department at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. Kate has also interned at the Association for Women in Science in Washington DC and the Consortium for Gender, Security, and Human Rights in Boston. At the time of her fellowship, Kate was a graduate student at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) studying International Policy Studies with focus on international development and South Asia. After her fellowship, Kate wrote: “I don’t think I’ve seen the level of poverty that I saw in the field. It made me feel extremely privileged. It was great to get experience working in a local organization abroad – something I’d never done before. Also, the skills I gained in the process (interviews, editing, web site development, etc) will be great to carry into future work. I will cook daal bhat more often!"



Embarking

27 May

This summer, I will go to Nepal as an Advocacy Project “Peace Fellow” to work with the Women’s Reproductive Rights Program (hereafter referred to as WRRP). WRRP is an advocacy organization based in Kathmandu, Nepal whose primary focus is on a reproductive health condition called uterine prolapse – or “falling of the womb”. This is condition in which a woman’s uterus becomes dislodged. While it happens to women everywhere in the world (almost always after menopause), in Nepal it is estimated that 1 out of 10 women suffers from a prolapsed uterus. That is approximately 600,000 women. Adolescents through adults are afflicted. WRRP approaches uterine prolapse as an issue of gender discrimination as it is an issue caused by women’s malnutrition, lack of proper medical care – particularly during pregnancy-, and work overload. WRRP has done ten years of very productive work on this issue so far and I know I have a lot to learn, and hopefully to contribute, this summer.

I will spend my first two weeks of the fellowship in Washington DC where Samita Pradhan, director of the WRRP, will travel to present at the Women Deliver 2010 conference. The conference in itself should be quite an experience – thousands of men and women from all over the world will come together at the Washington DC Convention Center to discuss gender equity. I’ll be a volunteer at this conference – which will provide me with a free pass to attend. For the rest of the two weeks in DC, I’ll join Samita and the Advocacy Project crew in the many meetings they have been hard at work organizing. In mid-June,  I will travel to Kathmandu, Nepal where I will work with WRRP for the rest of the summer.

While the Advocacy Project has described to me the type of work I’ll be doing, I know I have many surprises awaiting me in Kathmandu and the villages beyond. While I’ve been to Nepal before, I’m excited to spend time here in a new context – an advocacy context.  This work will also, hopefully, be a valuable extension of my masters program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, where I have just finished my first year as a graduate student in international policy studies with a focus on international development and human rights. On a personal note, I am very excited to be back in Nepal, practicing my nepali, filling up with daalbhat, and watching the monsoons roll by.

Village in Nepal

Posted By Kate Bollinger

Posted May 27th, 2010

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