Manushi

The nonprofit organization Manushi, meaning "energetic woman," was established in 1991 to assist poor, disadvantaged Nepali women. Located in Kathmandu, Manushi works with women in various parts of the country. The organization's goals are to promote gender perspective in sustainable development, to enhance women's social and economic status, to put women in the forefront of human development, and to put marginalized people in the world of work through handicraft production and small businesses. In addition to craft production and marketing, Manushi conducts community development, entrepreneurship and skills training, and provides microfinance loans. Currently some 90 percent of Manushi's artisans are women. Constitutionally Nepali women have rights, explains director Padmasana Shakya, but practically they have few opportunities within a culture that discriminates against women.

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