As you read these words, there are 200,000 Nepali women in India’s brothels. The average age of girl being trafficked in Nepal is (space) 15 years 15 years old. Many of these girls are forced to have sex up to 40 times a day. This does not include the torture, beatings, and abuse they suffer.The trauma that these women have experienced is unimaginable. Many women and girls who have experienced the above suffer from reproductive and sexual health issues, such as STI’s and HIV/AIDs, lack of self-esteem, menstrual issues, self-hatred, depression and anxiety.Moreover, due to the patriarchal culture in Nepal, most women do not value being women, wishing they were born boys instead of girls. This cultural mindset which encourages oppression against women results in girls and women being sold into sex slavery. These are the girls and women that Art to Healing work with.
In 2017 along with our partners Loopmasters we funded 6 women to be part of the Women’s transformational program hosted in Nepal.
What is the impact of the Womens’ Transformational Program at Art to Healing?
The core issue behind sex slavery is the oppression against women. At present, girls and women are still dying from the practice of Chaupaddhi, menstrual traditional practices that happen because a woman is deemed unclean and impure during the first menstruation and childbirth. At Art to Healing, we wish to change this. We teach girls and women who have experienced sex slavery the art of self-love, respect and esteem, so that they can live lives free from slavery.
“I was sold into sex slavery when I was 13 years old. Because of my past, I hated being a woman, I hated my period and I hated my reproductive organs because I felt that these were the reasons why bad things, like getting HIV/Aids and being sold, happened to me. I even went to the doctor to request for a hysterectomy, so that I could take my womb out, and stop my period because I hated having my period. I was told by my doctor that I was still young so they could not do the operation. After participating in this training program (with Art to Healing), I have realised that I deserve to be loved for being a woman, and my reproductive organs and my womb deserve to be loved as well and they are important tome. I have realised the importance of self-care and loving myself. I am now proud to have been born a woman, and I can’t wait to share this information I have learnt with my community. I will now continue to love myself and care for my body, and I know that being born female is a thing to be valued.”
Goma Rai, Shakti Milan Founder & Executive Director.
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