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National Retreat of Women's Forum held in Gokarna


April 3,2012

CARE Nepal organized the national retreat of its Women’s Forum from 1-3rd April 2012. It was a much awaited event and the first of its kind in the 35 year’s history of CARE Nepal. Of the 60 women staff in the organization, 55 had participated in the retreat. The venue was carefully selected. While we wanted to get out of the hustle and bustle of the capital city, we also did not want to be too far from it as this was the first time to the Kathmandu for many of our field staff. Thus, a resort situated 11 km away from Kathmandu with lush green hilltops and high flying trees was chosen. Sprawling in the green lawns, we found solace and friends that we are to keep for our lifetime.

By 5 pm on the first of April, the ladies were at the resort. Some had even travelled for a day to make it for the annual event. Despite the long tiring journey everybody was delighted to see each other. Even after working for the same organization, there were many who they had met for the first time. After a round of introduction, the women let their hair down and danced to their favorite tunes. The hierarchy was broken and everyone came together to celebrate the spirit of womanhood.

Along with the merry making, there were some serious issues that were discussed on the retreat. The second day started with a message from the country director who despite his busy schedule had come to address the forum. The commitment seen from the management was overwhelming. After the official launch of the retreat, a candle was lit to remember and thank one particular woman who had inspired us. This was followed by a session where all the women shared about the struggles and achievements of their lives. Their comfort levels at the forum could be seen from the fact that they were willing to share the most intimate and personal moments of their lives. The second half of the day focused on the objective of the Asia Women Leadership Program, the role of the forum and expectation of the staff from the forum. After a day filled with a lot of information and reflection, the evening paved way for some lighter moments. Women moved to recreational activities like swimming, singing and dancing. On the final day of the retreat, the TOR of the forum was shared and gender friendly HR policies were discussed. Songs, dance and energizers broke the monotony of the sessions and enlivened the environment.

The participants felt that such events should be organized regularly. While it broke the monotony of our mechanical lives between family and office, it was also an opportunity to bond and learn about various mechanisms that the organization has or should put in place to promote women’s leadership.

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