This week has been particularly full of meetings and programmes so much that it deserves a spot in the blog:
Nepals first Dalit women co-operative
DWO Bankes women groups have just formed and registered the first Dalit women co-operative in Nepal. In this connection, a General Assembly was in order with the 70 members and special guest (including me) participating. There was election for the board and lots of speeches followed by some fun, joking and snacks. It all ended with the mandatory group photo in front of the office. PMC meeting
I most development organisations in Nepal a PMC – Programme Management Committee – exists and of course DWO is no exception. Every quarter there is a meeting where the different activities are being discussed. The PMC consists of different representatives from staff and board as well as 4 members from our women groups. It is a good forum for them to influence our and it is part of their responsibility to visit the many women groups to get their comments on our work especially the training we provide to them. During this weeks meeting there were several things to be discussed amongst these the newly signed 3-year partnership agreement between DWO and MS Nepal. The PMC needed to be informed of the details of the agreement and the next years (2064) activities and budget. The agreement was thoroughly studied by the group members (see pix) and we received several comments. Since we just started ten new groups the "old" groups were a bit unhappy with the huge amount of training given to "the new ones". On top of this we were told not to arrange any training during June and July, since these are the months were the women are most busy in the paddy field planting rice.
After this discussion it was no time to elect new members for the PMC. It is a sough after spot for these women, since it gives prestige and influence on the work of DWO. There were many discussions and deal made here and there; some would only support ones, if promised their support in next years election etc. I tried to mediate the process but the women were doing just fine.
Visit to a women's group
I very often go to visit our women groups and the visit mostly follow the same pattern, so here are the main features:
Informal talk with villagers (I am not exactly