As part our ongoing work with one of our international partners, the Women’s Foundation of Nepal (WFN), GWP is currently in the first phase of a pilot program designed to provide Nepalese women with the necessary skills to carry out basic electrical wiring in local homes and businesses. The practical 6-week course, developed by leading industry specialists in partnership with GWP and WFN, teaches participants basic electrical wiring skills as well as addresses safety issues, basic first aid, quoting, book keeping and customer service.
Our research has shown us that electrical wiring is currently of a poor standard in Nepal, with much of the labour for this industry being sourced from outside Nepal. This means that in addition to providing the participants with new vocational skills, the program is also addressing a major skills gap in the local economy. But perhaps the most exciting part is that it challenges gender boundaries by giving women skills and access to a market that is traditionally the domain of men.
We have just completed the 6-week technical course component of the program. Reports from the women clearly demonstrate an increase in self-confidence, skills and excitement at the possibilities. Initial discussions also indicate that the community is receptive to and supportive of women undertaking these roles.
The challenges we currently face relate to the number of barriers to women finding ongoing work (e.g. reputation and experience, availability, transport, communication). This is where we really need to invest our time and funding now.
Funded by Melbourne (May 2014)