Nepal: EmpowHER - Strong Women, Strong Communities

Background and project context

As a former kingdom, Nepal is known for its cultural, religious and linguistic diversity. However, in addition to the rich traditions and customs, there is also a relatively strict social order that disadvantages and marginalises certain people. Women in particular are often affected by this, as some of the traditions contradict women's rights, such as discrimination during menstruation or arranged child marriages. Girls are also often given fewer educational opportunities than boys and are less able to participate in public life. This has created a cycle of discrimination against women over generations.

To counteract this problem, young Nepalese women receive support in the Horyzon project. They are strengthened in their role and self-confidence. The participants can attend five-day courses, for example in the areas of gender equality, family planning, finance or women's rights. They then pass on their knowledge to other women in their community. The course participants thus act as multipliers and contact persons who can listen to and help other women with questions and problems in their lives. In regular group meetings, accompanied by mentors, the women can exchange ideas and learn from each other. In addition, half-day workshops on various health topics are offered for people of all genders and ages.

The project reaches women from different generations and life situations. They can acquire knowledge in the courses and then pass this on to other women in their environment. In this way, it is possible to change discriminatory behaviour in society in the long term and strengthen the rights of women in Nepal.


Activities & Effects

Project part 1: Training young women as group leaders


  • Every year, 50 young women are trained in the areas of gender equality, human rights, family planning and the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence in a five-day workshop and trained as group leaders.
  • The impact of the training units will be reviewed at evaluation workshops and feedback will be received from the 50 trainees.

Expected result for 2024 (output)

  • As leaders, the young women conduct courses on women's rights and gender equality as well as awareness-raising activities for other women.

Long-term result (outcome)

  • Women are informed about their rights and have the confidence to challenge discriminatory cultural norms and traditions.
Project part 2: Women's groups as a safe space


  • Implementation of safe Spaces for 50 young women, where they can discuss personal issues relating to their womanhood in a protected environment and form women's groups. Leaders (see component “Training young women to become leaders”) accompany the women's groups and inform them about their rights.
  • 180 women are educated about their sexual and reproductive rights in two to three-day workshops and strengthen their self-confidence.
  • 25 young women are trained in workshops so that they can then act as counselors themselves.

Expected results for 2024 (outputs)

  • The women reached have deepened their knowledge of sexual and reproductive rights and know where they can obtain further information and support.
  • The young women are empowered to take on counseling and leadership positions.

Long-term result (outcome)

  • Women's groups are used to share experiences and create a collective awareness of women's rights.
Project part 3: Strengthening the role of women beyond the generations


  • 150 young women, older people and (young) men take part in exchange meetings at which current social issues are discussed across generations.

Expected result for 2024 (output)

  • Young women are able to discuss reproductive rights and health.

Long-term result (outcome)

  • Intergenerational exchange on relevant women's issues enables the collective breaking down of discriminatory norms and traditions.

Results 2023

Project part 1: Training young women as group leaders
  • 59 young women (50 planned) went through the five-day workshops and gained knowledge on topics such as stress management, gender equality, domestic violence, women in leadership positions, human rights, sexual and reproductive health rights and women's economic empowerment. They also worked on public speaking skills and strengthened the young women's self-confidence so that they feel confident to present the topics they have learned to a group. The participants also received training in mentoring.
  • 15 of the 59 women immersed themselves in one of the topics and conducted training sessions themselves at other workshops in the project or led the participants through interactive exchange meetings. The fact that this number was only 15 is mainly due to time resources; due to economic pressure, paid work generally had to be prioritized. However, all 59 participants in the workshops spoke out on the topics discussed and the associated norms (for example, domestic violence or women's rights, especially after marriage) and gained the confidence to speak out on these topics in front of groups.
Project part 2: Women's groups as a safe space
  • 76 girls, young women and men took part in the five Safe Space meetings last year (50 planned). Of these, 36 were girls or young women. The participation of men was not originally planned. The men and boys accompanied their sisters and daughters to the events and the project welcomed them to strengthen their confidence in the events. From 2024, the aim is for the Safe Space events to take place without the participation of men. Around seven women from the women leaders training courses (see project section “Young women are trained as leaders”) led the five Safe Space events held.
  • Three three-day workshops were held in three municipalities. Due to great interest, a total of 104 women (90 planned) took part in the events. The women deepened their knowledge of their rights. Each participant shared her new knowledge with at least five relatives.
  • At the closing ceremony of the workshops, the young women stood in front of the group and explained what they had learned. This showed that they had not only gained new knowledge, but also skills in speaking about sensitive topics such as sexual and reproductive rights in front of a group. The workshops also strengthened the group structure of the participants. They not only gained knowledge about the rights to which they are entitled, but also about how they can stand up for them.
Project part 3: Strengthening the role of women beyond the generations
  • Six half-day interactive workshops were held in each of six municipalities. A total of 163 people took part in these workshops, 128 of whom were women. Prior to the workshops, local authorities were consulted to determine which topics were of particular importance locally. If, for example, mental problems and a high suicide rate were identified as serious, the local partner organization organized inputs on stress management, mental health, counselling services or the causes and forms of domestic violence. Specialists from the respective fields were invited to provide such thematic input. The workshops were supplemented by input from graduates of the women leaders' workshop (see project section “Young women are trained as leaders”). They imparted the knowledge they had learned at the intergenerational workshops.
  • In Nepalese society, older people are treated with particular respect. In the intergenerational workshops, older people were able to share their extensive knowledge with the young women, while the young women were able to sensitize the older generations to their concerns. As a result, sometimes taboo topics could be discussed across genders and generations, helping to break down the taboo.
Activities worldwide
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Further information

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Facts about the project

Name: EmpowHER - Strong Women, Strong Communities
Partner organization: YWCA Nepal
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Goal: Young women stand up for their rights and gender equality in a self-determined way.
Participants: 380 young Nepalese women who are disadvantaged due to their caste, social status or economic position
Required funds 2024: CHF 62'500
Duration: Project exists since 2023, current phase: 2023 - 2024
Responsible: Elisha Frei, elisha.frei at

Facts about South Sudan

Population: 29,2 millions
Capital: Kathmandu
Human Development Index: 0,602 (rank 143 of 191)
Life expectancy: 68,4 years

Source: Human Development Report