Beginning of October 2018 Hairdressers Without Borders team spent a few intensive training weeks in Surkhet – Nepal in collaboration with Blink Now organization. We have given the opportunity to 20 Nepalese women to be inspired by the profession of hairdressing and with this powerful skill they made big steps forward in creating more self esteem, women empowerment and building new future plans.
Our team has noticed a lot of positive changes in the behavior of all our students. As the status of women in Nepal’s patriarchal society is slowly fading and disparities between men and women are getting smaller, there is still a clear gap in gender equality in the region of Surkhet where most of the women still struggle to make a living. Although it is true that the roles and status of women in modern Nepalese society has undergone a massive transformation and their rights have been secured by the constitution, enforcement outside the few major cities has been lax. The rugged, mountainous topography adds to this issue. In these remote places, gender disparity still exists, women have limited control or saying, women are restricted to household works, deprived of education, discriminated based on caste, and have poor healthcare access. Existing laws are inadequate to deal with sexual offences and Nepal has no law to deal with sexual harassment. This is also the reason why, Nepalese women are frequently subjected to a regime of rape and domestic abuse.
It has been magical to watch our students grow within this hairdressing program, noticing a big progress and new developments in each of them. This is so powerful when women work together as one. It becomes a strong sisterhood, where they take care of each other and experience deep joy in a protected place. Each day they increased their knowledge of their new profession and showed a strong motivation. Half an hour ahead of time 20 happy faces arrived at the training location, eager to start the new training day. Where we have learned them the all-round technical skills around all long hairstyles, bridal makeup and hair updo, styling techniques, client relationship and women empowerment. With all these new skills we let them move forward and dream of brighter days.
The result of this intensive training period is that all our students are ready to take this new profession to a next level. All of them want to receive more training from us and prepare themselves to open their own salon. HWB and Blink Now are ready to take these big dreams into our hands and raise funds to build a structure to insure them for a lifetime income. Through future employment and establishing a local hair salon/ HWB academy in Surkhet.