KATHMNDU, Sept 6: Youth panelists in a webinar expressed that self-commitment and family support is imperative to break the fetters of social stereotypes prevalent in the society. Four youth role models who were able to break the glass ceiling of stereotypes to realize their dreams shared their success stories and reflection on their personal and professional journey.
Speaking at the virtual event entitled "Uncovering Stereotypes', Ranajan Dhami, a para Taekwondo player, shared her experience of facing stereotypes related to disability and how she was able to break the fetters. Stating that personal commitment and continuity towards one's aim are the key to success, she also encouraged youth not to get bogged down by the disability condition. "Generally, people tend to judge us looking at our physical disability, but they also need to consider our capacity," she opined.
Anish Tamang, a burgeoning make-up artist and body painter having a huge fan following in social media, shared how people used to make fun of his feminine behavior. He said that he had to face highly offensive and derogatory slurs related to his so-called feminine instincts when he took the make-up profession. He also informed that he was bullied at school for acting and behaving 'girlish'. He thanked his family who stood by his passion and choice in life despite being subject to stereotyped harassment.
Major Niru Dhungna, the first woman pilot in Nepal Army, shared her experience of her foray into aviation and defense sector, an all-male bastion, and the challenges she faced as well as success and satisfaction she garnered. She opined that personal commitment and go-getting attitude are instrumental in challenging the stereotypical hindrances. She also expressed happiness to see Nepal Army quickly adapting to gender needs in its organization structure and infrastructures.
Kepi Khanal, an influential 20 year old youth campaigner and social worker from Acham requested the youth to search their souls, reflecting seriously on their actions and behavior to mend the social and cultural aberrations, and contribute in making our society a better place to live in. He says where there is a will there is a way and no one can deter you form what you want to achieve. He is engaged in mobilizing the youth for numerous social campaigns related to environment and sanitation.
Chanda Thapa, Undersecretary at the National Youth Council (NYC), giving her welcome remarks at the event shed light on NYC's vision and mission in engaging youth for their personal and professional development as well as mobilizing them in addressing social discrimination prevalent across Nepal society.
Bandana Rana, Vice Chair of UN CEDAW Committee, who hosted the program, highlighted the objective of the youth webinar series. She said that the webinar series, was a continuity of the generation equality national youth conference organized last January and aimed to groom youth leaders committed to gender equality and women's empowerment who , with their zeal, inclusive behaviors and positive demeanor, can take the Nepali's feminist movement to a new height.
Saathi under the collaborative partnership with National Youth Council, Jagriti Child Concern Nepal and National Network for Beijing-Review Nepal( NNBN) has been organizing the Generation Equality youth webinar series. This is the third episode of the series.