Disclaimer: these are working notes taken during the field visit. They are provided here to give a sense of the conversation that took place in the field, and to put evidence in context. The notes have not been edited to be a final product. They might contain some inaccuracies and glitches. Information, findings will be further revised by checking reports, by crosschecking additional evidence and in additional exchanges with key evaluation stakeholders
We met with the women of the Mubari VDC. When asked about the work that CARE does, the women replied that CARE and its partners have been doing good work. After the earthquake they provided cash and tarpaulins. Most of the work that has been focused on women are the hygiene materials. There was a need for shelter, somewhere to sleep, buckets, etc. they got all of the things that they wanted from CARE and partners.
During the earthquake, it was a sad moment, they opened a compassionate center and they came and motivated people to live again. The motivation was giving CGI sheets, seeds, hygiene items and shelter materials. When everyone was in such a depressed state, there were people who were looking after them; there were people to help them. It gave them a light in their heart when they were crying.
They got tarps from one of CARE’s partner, form the VDC they got food, and another CARE partner gave the women seeds. The women stated that the assistance came from foreign countries, the partners worked with other organizations to provide them assistance that was funded by CARE Nepal. They are clear about which organization the assistance came from.
The women did get to provide input on what they needed. CARE and partner came to ask what women needed. Half of the women in this discussion went to the meeting. There were many people, men and women who were there. CARE asked what materials you have received, how they have been used, and went to houses to see the materials. The community said that they needed blankets for the winter season. They discussed the fact that they were in need of drinking water in the meeting and they got water pipes.
Women asked for hot water and assistance for the pregnant women. Before there was no facility for hot water drinking in the health center. One partner organization brought hot water to the health center.
One woman spoke in the meeting; she raised the issues about water pipes. She raised the issue because there was problem of water and her house is far. She said that it was easy to raise your voices in the meeting. All of the community agrees about what the community wants. There is a common voice in the meeting. In the past they had some disagreement, now they have a common voice during the meeting. The issues of water problem was raised in the meeting, because if they were going to get seeds but they needed water in order to grow the seeds. Before the earthquake they were given seeds for vegetables by a different organization but there has always been an issue of water. The partners and CARE didn’t know about the problem of the water. One partner had been working here for years so they knew that there was a problem with water. They shared they problem with a CARE staff, everyone got together to tell them the problem. A partner staff member organized the meeting.
In other meetings they talk about gender based violence (GBV), child marriage. The meetings were organized by CARE/partners. It was like school, they properly explained things to them. During these meetings CARE’s partner staff used to ask about their problems. The partner staff would say that they will keep their problems confidential, they will help them if you need help from the law. They would support the women of the community. The women trusted them, they believed them, and they felt like it was for them.
It was not the first time they had classes on GBV and other topics. women had different views about the outcomes of these new meetings. Some felt that there was little new. Others had acquired new knowledge about the issues.
They used to participate in hygiene promotion but because their lives were so busy there were no changes in their behavior. Now they have adapted their practices and they are using the trainings. There used to be a lot of fights in the meetings, now there aren’t the same problems.
After the earthquake they have been managing their time, paying attention to things like sanitation. There are mixed answers about if they are busier or less busy after the earthquake. They are equally busy; their houses are damaged, water problems, one is more busy now. They are busy in agriculture and livestock. think that after the intervention of the organizations after the earthquake there were less fights between villagers.
[NOTE: we asked repeatedly in the conversation what specific issues, problems, support are relevant for the women. We wanted to check: if the specific activities done with women – and the mobilization for the 16 days of activism – would be mentioned ‘unprompted’; if any woman-specific issue would emerge ]
The women do cleaning and taking care of the livestock. They sit in meetings, they clean the street, and they have a fund collection. This is before the earthquake as well.
She now knows more details about GBV, if a girl gets raped and she uses self-defense she will not be punished. They were taught that after the earthquake, they learned about human trafficking.
The women dig roads, they have built tunnels for vegetables, and they got goats. They are now doing their agricultural practices better than before.
They were asked if women had special needs and one woman answered yes, but what’s the advantage of sharing? Her husband is married another woman, that’s a personal problem. What problems are there specifically for women? There are no social issues, there is back stabbing, there are bad attitudes. People say that if they are going to meeting so they have no work at home. Both men and women think that have too much free time to attend these meetings.
There are problems. If there was a special problem could the women discuss with the government about it? Yes there is problem; one woman said she cannot construct a house with 2 lakh. One woman said that even if they share this problem with the government, who will help? They don’t share their problems with the government. They share their problems with the organizations and they share their issues with the government. They can’t do anything on their own.
Once we said about the GBV programming, the women remembered a little bit. They did not remember the programming on their own. They received 2 days training. They do vaguely remember that the 16 days of activism happened, but they don’t remember the activities. Most of the women remember talking about GBV, and they sang the GBV song. (they also have an earthquake song)
Most of the women attended the GBV meetings. Only the women who are very busy don’t come. Women who can’t manage their time, women who are not interested didn’t come to the meeting. The other women have shared the information, but they are still not interested in attended. There aren’t any women who are restricted to attend the meetings. The furthest house is 20 min from here. One women’s daughter is half paralyzed, she can come but it will take 2 hours to reach the meeting because she would have to crawl What are they doing for her so she can have the benefits? She’s applied for the disability card for her but she has received the card, but no allowance yet. She got extra bucket and blanket from CARE for being more vulnerable. She is 9 years old, she hasn’t attended any meetings. There are three disabled women, they have not attending the meetings but they can physically come to the meetings. One cannot speak well; one has no fingers but they do not have mobility issues. If we ask them to come to the meeting they will come slowly.
Some highlights about women activities in Dhading
This Video by CARE shows activities in Dhading