As SAATHI celebrated its silver jubilee recently, as an organization of national and international fame in establishing the rights of women, Bandana Rana’s last seven years as its president will always be remembered in the history of SAATHI. Rana led SAATHI into directions it took as an organization based on a collaborative approach to work with local community and international arena. The advocacy campaigns launched by SAATHI made it a pioneer organization to raise the issue of violence against women at the national level.
Starting from Madhuri Rana Singh, Arzu Rana Deuba, Pramada Shah and Bandana Rana, SAATHI found strong and influential leaders during its initial phases. All of them have contributed greatly.
The period of last seven years was very important period in the history of SAATHI. Under the leadership of Bandana Rana, SAATHI has not only enhanced its national and international image but also worked in collaboration with different partners in advocacy. SAATHI has also introduced new concepts for the community based women organizations.
When SAATHI was established twenty five years ago, there were only a few organizations taking lead on women’s issues. Growing along with Nepal’s women movement in establishing their rights, SAATHI has been a part of all the changes, playing an important role in establishing the rights of women.
Buying a new building, Rana pushed SAATHI into a new area along with its old field of providing safe shelter to women suffering from domestic violence. SAATHI has now reached a new height.
For her contribution and work in Nepal, Rana has been a representative in CEDAW.
SATHI, an organization, established 25 years ago with an objective of saving people from discrimination and violence, has given continuity to a campaign against Chhaugoth and marriage with a dowry.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba urged woman leaders to fight against gender-based violence. Stating the position that the women have got from three-tier elections has shown that Nepal is in favor of women’s empowerment, Prime Minister Deuba said that women from all categories, including indigenous and Dalits, have been incorporated in the mainstream of politics and development.
He said, “The constitution of Nepal has guaranteed women’s rights. The government has adopted a zero-tolerance policy on violence against women.”
At a program organized in the Capital on the occasion of the silver jubilee of the organization, PM Deuba honored Madhuri Rana Singh, Arzu Rana Deuba, Pramada Shah and Bandana Rana for their contribution in the establishment of and promotion of ‘SAATHI’.
Similarly, president of the organization Uma Rajyalaxmi Saha said that the organization has been working for the protection of women’s rights and empowerment, fighting violence against women and involved in policy formulation, among others.
As SAATHI enters into its new phases of work, the new leadership will need to keep the strength of the organization intact.