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Mrs Nepal World: “I see beauty in a woman who is emancipated and unapologetically herself”

Prithiviya Thapa recently bagged the title of Mrs Nepal World in an event organized by Ribbon Entertainment. She introduces herself as an independent Nepali woman whose virtues are shaped by the love and guidance of her parents. The genuine guidance, she believes, instilled the values that mold her into a responsible citizen, a compassionate woman and a loving wife and daughter in law. 

While there are many titles and roles I portray in this journey of life that define me, above all I am a human with a compassionate heart and pure soul who believes in herself and her goal to bring positive transformation in the world we live in, she says. 

Monica Lohani of The DMN News recently spoke to her on a range of issues. Excerpts: 

What made you choose your journey to the Mrs Nepal World?

I embarked on the journey of Mrs Nepal on my husband’s suggestion, which was backed by various other personal decisions and motivation rooted deeply in my heart. For many, pageants are a pathway to personal growth and self-discovery, but for me, it was beyond individual development. It was a powerful platform for advocating issues like women’s empowerment and rights, access to education, and health. Participating in Mrs Nepal meant opportunities to collaborate with and support Nepali women from diverse backgrounds, inspiring them to pursue their dreams, overcome challenges, embrace their identities, and celebrate womanhood. Moreover, the decision to participate in Mrs Nepal was driven by the motivation to introduce the values of Nepal and Nepali women internationally.

Participants of Mrs Nepal World are supposed to debunk the myths and stereotypes surrounding the established notion of beauty. Supposed to be an effective changemaker. What’s your take?

Yes, I agree. Not only participants of Mrs. World, but each one of us should partake in the responsibility of creating an inclusive Nepal where diversity is celebrated and respected. I have been staunchly advocating for equality and inclusion and working towards breaking barriers and empowering women from all walks of life by raising funds and essentials for the past five years through various initiatives. Talking about the unattainable beauty standards, they have been fed into the minds of innocent young consumers to market certain products. It’s a gimmick and not acceptable in any way. I see beauty in a woman who is emancipated and unapologetically herself. The spark of independence and education shines brighter; hence, a strong, empowered woman glows and grows!

In your opinion, what are the three major challenges that Nepali women have been facing?

Nepali women have been encountering a multitude of challenges, with gender inequality, violence against women, and limited access to resources (especially health and education) standing out as prominent issues. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that the nature and intensity of these challenges vary based on factors such as age, income, marital status, ethnicity, religion, and geographic region. While gender disparities persist across the board, women from marginalized communities often face compounded challenges due to intersecting forms of discrimination.

For instance, rural women may encounter additional barriers to education and healthcare compared to their urban counterparts, while women from lower-income households may struggle more with economic empowerment. Similarly, young girls from certain geographic areas may be at higher risk of early marriage and limited educational opportunities, while others are still facing practices like chhaupadi pratha. It breaks my heart to imagine the condition of our Nepali women. However, we must address these social evils by identifying their root causes and eradicating them from society.

What role will you play to change the situation of Nepali women?

Addressing these complex and multifaceted challenges requires tailored approaches that account for the diverse needs and experiences of women across different demographics and contexts. Comprehensive strategies aimed at promoting gender equality, combating violence, and enhancing access to resources must be inclusive, equitable, and responsive to the intersecting identities and realities of Nepali women.

The respected government agency, along with us Nepali citizens, can create the Nepal envisaged by our constitution through policy intervention and societal transformation. Also, I would play a proactive role using my voice and given platform to challenge any existing discriminatory norms. Through education and awareness campaigns, I aim to dismantle stereotypes and promote an inclusive and equitable society.

Cyber-bullying and online harassment are emerging as the greatest challenges for young women in online platforms. How to avoid the problem?

To address cyberbullying and online harassment, it’s crucial for young women to prioritize their online safety by being mindful of their digital footprint, setting privacy settings, and avoiding engaging with harmful content or individuals. Additionally, fostering open communication with trusted adults or support networks can provide guidance and assistance in navigating online challenges. Utilizing tools such as blocking and reporting features on social media platforms can also help mitigate harmful interactions. Ultimately, promoting digital literacy and fostering a culture of respect and empathy online are key to preventing and addressing cyberbullying and online harassment. Similarly, the Cyber Bureau Nepal has been actively working to curb online incidents. In case of any mishap or need for assistance, the Cyber Bureau can be contacted via email or through their helpline number – 1930. Stay alert, stay safe.

How do you define women’s empowerment?

Women empowerment is simply a state where women can exercise their rights, access opportunities, and fulfill their potential like every other human existing in the world. A woman is truly empowered when she possesses the decision-making power and can unapologetically make choices that shape her own life and future. The topic of women empowerment has been raised on many platforms, and true empowerment enables women to make informed choices and participate fully in decision-making processes. This includes access to education, healthcare, finance, economic resources, and pursuing leadership roles, as well as the freedom to express themselves and pursue their aspirations. Empowerment is about creating a more equitable and inclusive world where every woman thrives!

Who is your role model, and why? 

My parents are my ultimate role models. Their exemplary upbringing of a single girl child in a society still entrenched in patriarchy is truly inspiring. They have nurtured a strong, independent daughter who confidently speaks her mind and empowers other girls to assert their rights. Their values and principles have not only shaped me into a responsible and dedicated citizen but also instilled compassion and empathy, leading me to extend a helping hand to those in need.