Dipisha Bhujel was selected as an Asian Girls Ambassador and Asian Girls Social Innovation Award winner for her efforts at promoting menstruation education and standing up against gender inequality.
Coming from a patriarchal community, Dipisha has faced many experiences of gender inequality throughout her life, which led to her questioning herself and the society around her. Young girls in Nepal are likely to experience gender-based violence, whether it be forced child marriage or exposure to domestic violence. Many cases of violence are not reported by victims and those affected due to feelings of helplessness, fear, and shame.
In most Nepali communities, menstruation continues to be seen as impure. Girls and women are affected by taboos and stigmatization around menstruation. Some reports suggest that almost 90% of women in Nepal experience some form of restriction or exclusion during menstruation. These taboos have also led to a lack of supply of and access to menstrual products, especially menstrual pads. In addition, talking about menstruation is not encouraged, so many men and women are still unable to have frank conversations about it. One study by the UN found that more than 50% of girls (and up to 76% in certain districts) did not know the cause or reason for their menstruation.
Inspired to search for a way to improve this situation, at the age of just 13, Dipisha started to volunteer with various organizations. She soon realized that the best way to combat these issues was to use her voice and platform to call out gender inequality. She is now actively involved in educating people on the topic of menstruation and empowering young girls and women through self-defense training across Nepal.
The project supports disadvantaged people, especially those living in remote areas. She aims to meet their needs by overcoming infrastructural and cultural challenges to create an environment where menstruation products are easily accessible. She believes that the funding and support she will have access to as an Asian Girls Ambassador offers an incredible opportunity for her to go forward and continue with her work.