The Problem

We started Women LEAD because we believe the lack of female leaders around the world is one of the biggest inequalities of the 21st century. Women represent only 20% of leaders around the world. Young women’s opinions and voices are rarely valued in traditional and male-dominated countries like Nepal. Women’s leadership across all sectors in Nepal remains incredibly low, although an increase in allocated leadership positions presents new opportunities for women. Schools are currently not training young women to access and leverage these new positions.

Plan of Action

Our organization addresses this need by providing young women early in their careers with the personal and professional skills to become leaders. We strongly believe that when young women are given the tools to lead, they become powerful agents for change. We train 180 youth per year through our yearlong leadership development program. The intensive 12-month LEAD program launches in August with a two-week Leadership Institute where 30 students gain critical knowledge and professional skills. Nepali female leaders come in as guest speakers to talk about their career path, and participants engage with them and learn about different fields (such as business, politics, journalism). Participants also practice leadership through skills-building workshops and service learning trips led by our two staff members. At the end of the Institute, participants are paired with a local mentor and choose 1 of 4 yearlong activism tracks: • Leadership: 10 LEADers co-lead weekly leadership workshops for 150 students aged 14-15 in their schools. They learn leadership skills and explore youth issues, and launch activism campaigns at the end of the program. • Entrepreneurship: 6 LEADers design their own social venture, receiving training, guidance and seed funding to launch a community project • Advocacy: 4 LEADers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to plan and implement a community-based advocacy campaign on their chosen issue. • Development: 10 LEADers intern at a Nepali NGO to build their professional skills and gain experience in their chosen field. We maximize our impact by encouraging our participants to “pay it forward”. They are expected to take the knowledge and skills they have learned and empower other girls in their schools and community. The 30 girls we initially train thus impact a larger group of 150 girls.

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