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!"

The Women Deliver

08 Jul

My first two weeks with the Advocacy Project were spent in Washington, DC, where the WRRP’s director, Samita Pradhan, made her first trip to the US to present at the Women Deliver 2010 Conference and to begin the process of raising global awareness of uterine prolapse through DC networks.

The Women Deliver conference was an amazing experience. Thousands of participants – the majority women – gathered from all over the world to discuss gender equity from a myriad of angles. Samita, for example, presented in a panel on “Reaching Poor Women and Newborns and Delivering Equitable Solutions” and discussed the Situation of Nepali Women with Uterine Prolapse.

Looking back, the conference was key for the Advocacy Project and WRRP in two major ways. Firstly, it gave us more of an answer to the question which was often the first question asked about WRRP’s work, “Is uterine prolapse only an issue in Nepal?” It’s a very good question which we didn’t have a straight forward answer to…. yet.

To try to get a firmer grasp of this, we organized an informal meeting at the conference to explore the global incidence of uterine prolapse. To our delight, women from a number of nations showed up to discuss uterine prolapse in their own countries. Most notably we learned that uterine prolapse is not only prevalent in Asian countries (Nepal, India, and Bangladesh, for example), but also in Africa (Ghana and Nigeria, for example).  And no one, from any country, knew about government efforts working to address the issue. Clearly it’s time for action!

A second important outcome of this conference, and the following week in DC, was the opportunity to connect to people and organizations who could potentially be major players in the drive to address uterine prolapse. Samita and our Advocacy Project crew met with Congresswoman Lois Capps, staff from the Foreign Relations Committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee, USAID, the US State Department, and others. And Samita gave an additional presentation, sponsored by the America-Nepal Women’s Association, which was broadcast live on DCNepal – an online television station.

All in all, it was very clear to all of us involved that the issue of uterine prolapse gained some serious momentum during Samita’s stay in Washington, DC and was brought to more public attention than it had been before.

It was great to have had the opportunity to start my summer work with WRRP in this way. I think it’s going to be a good summer!

Samita Pradhan presenting at the Women Deliver Conference

Posted By Kate Bollinger

Posted Jul 8th, 2010

Enter your Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *