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“Being a woman is alluring.”

“The fact that a human can be so emotional yet so powerful is assuredly amazing. However, the society, the rules and regulations, the norms, the culture they all try to hold this powerful and dynamic living being back.

As much as dominant or capable I thought I was, there was constantly something else that was convincing or striking my head letting me know that I was never good enough or equivalent to a man.

After I migrated to Australia to pursue my education, I was offered a job as an administration assistant. A guy had just commenced the same work as I did just few works before I started. Few months later, he was schooled to take some certification courses, he was then promoted to be a building inspector and ended up being a private certifier. Not only that but he was also equipped with a brand new car and not to mention his salary was almost double of what I acquired.

Was he exceptional? Was he superior? Was he proficient? Why was he chosen and not me? Why was I still in the office while he got to drive around in his contemporary car? You are right. He was a chico.

When I went to enquire why his position at the office elevated so quickly and I was still entering data as I did when I premiered. Right away I was told how a lady wasn’t allowed or granted to drive around inspection people’s houses as it’s not a “SAFE” environment.

Coming from a 3rd world country, as a child I always thought, racial or sexual discrimination was only confined within the 3rd world country and these “structurally developed” countries would have eradicated all kinds of discrimination away but the fact that I had to compromise in such a situation ,elucidated how much of an impact things make in our lives just because we were born as women.

Shikha Uprety is Nepalese national living in Sydney, Australia. She works as an administrative allrounder at  a Home certification company. 

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“Trust me. I know.”

“I am a free-spirited person, you know. I was born and raised in Nepal. As a child, there were these societal traditions, trends, rituals and structures that I instinctively never fit in and always rebelled against. Then, I didn’t know why. As I was growing up, I wanted to move out, to explore, educate and cultivate myself in real sense, have a place of my own, live a life in my own terms and solo travel, the society wanted me to get ‘just enough’ education, settle down, have a family and a stable job. Ten years ago, the freedom I sought was almost sinful, especially for a young, unmarried woman. In simple terms, there was a constant battle between what I wanted for myself and what the society expected of me.

I believe most woman my age are in a state of denial. I will tell you why. On one hand, we are connected to the world and are therefore, aware of the possibilities and potentials they can cap on. While on the other, we are entangled in the social structure that has expectations that contradict with our desires. Freedom and security in this sense may not always go together. This is but a recipe for a state of confusion and denial.

It is important for a woman to have a mind of her own. Earning Nrs 20 thousand a month is not going to give you independence. It is imperative that women today have independence – intellectually, financially, emotionally as well as physically. Only then, you can be capable of making your own decisions in every sphere of your life. And no matter how best you try, things can always go awry. So, it takes tremendous amount of self-confrontation and self-compassion as well. However, despite everything, independence for most women in Nepal comes with a price. Let alone the society, your very own family may stand as a hurdle. But I encourage you to go for it. Invest your time and energy on yourself and fight for what you deserve and live your life in your own terms. It is totally worth it. Trust me. I know. And you don’t even know who you are inspiring.


This is getting emotional for me. I have spent nights crying alone. For me, solo traveling is a dream come true. It feels even more so because of everything I had to sacrifice and put in line to be where I am today. I travel because I want to have a life of my own. I travel because, simply, I want to travel. I want to see, I want to listen, I want to share people’s stories. I have always been this way; I cannot be confined.

Beyond that, traveling also fulfills a seeker’s quest. I have a need to connect to everything that has a life in it. You may travel to faraway place you have never been to but that faraway place may be a home to someone. And by connecting to that someone, you can discover a home in it for yourself. There are billions of human beings but there’s only one humanity. I simply like to break barriers for myself, understand different cultures, meet new people who are but a different fabric of the same notion called humanity. At the end of the day, we are all one. Traveling has enlightened me with this realization. Beneath all of this is my quest to freedom and I would never trade it for anything.”


Shruti Achal is a Second Secretary at the Embassy of Nepal to Beijing. 

“Because it is not a woman’s place…”

“I would like to believe we have all heard this statement before; either it was hurled at us or to a fellow woman. It hurts to say the least but living in a patriarchal society, we’re told to suck it up and do as the “society” says. But who is this society we speak of? I’ve come to the realization that we use this term to generalize our culprits by saying “society” when in actual fact we need to say “men” are saying this and that about women and what we can and cannot do.

Recently I was back home in Zimbabwe, and having been away for close to two years since I last visited, I had pretty much forgotten the kind of place that I grew up in. Zimbabwe is primarily male-dominated (and I’m not talking population-wise here). Growing up, we were always told that women are not allowed to dress in trousers, shorts or even short skirts regardless how hot the weather may be. We were told that a woman’s place was in the home taking care of everyone. If a woman desired to work she would only have to do a job that would not threaten the masculinity of her significant other. Jobs in the medical field or high power jobs such as law, engineering and being the executive of a company was frowned upon and pretty much is still the case today.

As I was saying, I went back home to visit my family and also to try and get myself an internship at some law firms there. Now, don’t get me wrong on this, there are some firms that will gladly jump at the opportunity of hiring an international student because they are aware of the exposure they’ve had over local students. But that didn’t matter to some because the moment I walked in through those doors, I was greeted by these words, “You’re a law student? Do you intend on ever getting married in this lifetime?” I was shell-shocked and enraged at how lowly women were looked upon even when we try to advance in our chosen careers. I was appalled at how this man thought that just because I am pursuing a career as powerful as mine I would never find love and get married. Has my life no value to such great lengths that all I can give back to the world is a golden wedding band on my finger, a few exchanged promises and children as a by-product of union with a man?

Ladies, I know some of you or all of you can relate to my situation. As a matter of fact, we all have a story to tell. It can be a completely different context, different words, different language but we can all agree that the message was loud and clear…there is no respect for us as women simply because it’s not our place to be what we want nor is it our place to say what we really feel. Well, that stops now! Today and many more days after this I want to see more and more women live their lives according to their own terms. Enough of this ignorance and classification of women’s abilities and roles. If you are a female who is studying or already working in a high powered career, then props to you, girlfriend! Love yourself, be yourself, believe in yourself and shine brighter than that negative shade being thrown at you.


You never chose your gender at conception so why should you suffer for it? The Creator has a purpose for your life and it isn’t to be subservient to a man’s opinions about your role in life. So ladies, get up every morning with a drive greater than your fears and go earn yourself that paycheck. When men give you strange looks in the workplace and you hear them whisper all sorts of things, pay them no attention and focus on you and what you can best do for your life. Yes, it will cost you a lot of material things, relationships and so much more but if it is for your good then it’s all worth it. I’d rather starve to death waiting for my own paycheck than to have a man tell me that I’m alive because of him. If you have a significant other who loves you and respects you then you are lucky and you should hold on to them but remind them that they are an addition to your life and you come first when it is about you and what you desire.


Above everything my dear ladies, let us learn to be supporters of each other. Where one of us gets it wrong, let us stand together to pick each other up and correct one another. Where one of us is victorious, let us not hate or be snide about it but let’s genuinely celebrate each other’s wins. United we stand, divided we fall. Let us build womanhood and make a fortress out of it. Let us be giants in whatever we put ourselves to but above all let us celebrate our femininity.
Love to you all!”


Nyasha Cassandra Chimangah ,a law graduate from China, is a Zimbabwean native and a rising advocate for women in Africa and elsewhere. 

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