Dorothy Khan (Nepal)

Dorothy Khan received her MS in Global Affairs from New York University, graduating with a concentration in Human Rights and International Law. She conducted field research on both registered and unregistered Rohingya women in the refugee camps of Bangladesh. During the summer of 2015, she traveled to Iraq to implement a self-designed project, aimed at empowering youth in the Duhok region of Iraq to become local community peace builders. In addition, she previously worked with urban refugees in South Africa, aiding them in navigating through difficult legal issues as they formally applied for refugee status. Her experience over the years in refugee rights, women's empowerment and human rights has imbued her with substantial experience working with disadvantaged populations throughout the world. Dorothy is also a recipient of a MA degree in Public Policy and and BA degree in Political Science from Stony Brook University. After her fellowship, Dorothy wrote: "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."



The Power of Females in Maintada

24 Aug
Dorothy Blog 4a

Baishara (2nd from the right) and the rest of RRF

 

“I am so old with great grandchildren.” So, how old are you? “Oh, I am 51” said Baishara. This beautiful great grandma is a uterine prolapse survivor and also the chairperson of the Reproductive Rights Forum (RRF).

Baishara was married at the young age of 13 and started being sexually active and bore children before her body fully matured. One of the most common causes of uterine prolapse among women like Baishara is teen pregnancy. This debilitating condition causes extreme physical discomfort and emotional suffering.

When Baishara was growing up, she heard about the condition but because of the social stigma attached to it, women never openly spoke about it. When she got married, lack of rest after childbirth, coupled with hard labor during pregnancy and inadequate child spacing had caused Baishara to have stage 2 of uterine prolapse. She sought the help of natural remedies and exercise to relieve some of her pain. When she joined RRF, she was determined to help other women like her and since then she has taught 45 women about natural remedies and pelvic exercise to prevent UP. “Women in the community don’t like to draw attention to them, but since I was diagnosed with the condition, I can identity women who are suffering just by looking at them,” explained Baishara.

Dorothy Blog 4b

Baishara- sitting in the middle-discussing about Uterine Prolapse

 

RRF is a group formed by nine influential women representing the 9 wards of their district. This group raises awareness on the harmful effects of child marriage and uterine prolapse. They also help victims of uterine prolapse by assisting them seek medical help.

The group performs street plays to raise awareness in the community about the harmful effects of child marriage and the importance of women’s work in the household. It is a very inexpensive form of entertainment with the most effective and powerful message. Street performances have a real impact in bringing social issues like child marriage and UP to the forefront of community discussions and they can witness the impact within their community. “We are also encouraging men to share the household chores with their wife” expressed Baishara.

Many changes have occurred since the formation of this group. Women are not afraid to speak openly about the subject of uterine prolapse or ignore that child marriage is not an issue. They are aware of their rights and are encouraging their husbands to change their views as well.

Posted By Dorothy Khan (Nepal)

Posted Aug 24th, 2016