Pillar 3

The Strategic Approach of WHR

WHR has been a pioneer in addressing single women’s issues and envisions changing traditional stereotypes and mindsets that keep single women from participating and accessing resources. We strive to change discriminatory policies to give women their rights and show that they are valuable social capital.

WHR’s strategic plan (2009-2013) focuses on five pillars.

Sustainable Peace For Human Rights And Justice (Pillar III)

Strong advocacy campaign and lobbying to address this human rights issue, to enhance the capacity of single women groups and networks in peace building and transitional justice, and to help develop their confidence and self esteem

Run by: Single Women Entrepreneurs’ Group
Promoted by: Women for Human

Rights, single women group (WHR) Rehabilitation, reintegration and reconciliation of single women through Chhahari - a safe place Chhahari in English translates to “safe place of shade of solidarity”. It is the shade of the tree where weary travellers can re-energize and continue with their journey.

The meaning behind chhahari has been used as a metaphor for all single women who come to seek rejuvenation and healing in the protected and caring environment of the center. Single women who come to Chhahari receive counselling to recover from their trauma and receive tools that help empower them. The center aims to enable and strengthen the lives of single women whilst maintaining a safe space. Instability in Nepal further escalates the situation of single women and their children who are displaced and traumatized continually during times of conflict. Chhahari works to rehabilitate and reintegrate them back into society.

With the assistance from Women for Human Rights - WHR, Chhahari is able to provide single women with a comprehensive and well integrated package that includes need identification, counseling, skill development, reintegration, rehabilitation and reconciliation. The center also affiliates itself with the local district level single women group to act as mentors to lessen their vulnerability.

The holistic package offered by Chhahari for the past two years has assisted vulnerable single women who have received counseling, rehabilitation, legal services, capacity building, skills, training, and small loan. Chhahari also focuses on traditional skills such as tailoring, culinary, animal husbandry, argo farming, basket weaving (doko), and non-traditional ones such as beautician training, mobile repair, bicycle repair, painting, masonry and solar lanterns assemble etc.


Single Women all over Nepal gain economic independence and are socially accepted with dignity and respect.


Work towards economic empowerment of single women for poverty reduction and facilitate and assists for the rights of single women entrepreneurs and home based single women workers


Chhahari in Nepal take lead in building capacity and skills of single women to live an economically independent life Status of Single Women in Nepal More than 40% of single women in Nepal were married before the age of 20 years Around 67% of them are under 20-35 years old having 3-4 children in an average 29% of them are totally illiterate Only 2% of them have higher education 20% of single women members have migrated and displaced due to the conflict.


Over the course of fulfilling their basic needs and fighting for their fundamental rights, single women have to fight several crises and difficulty. Some of the major impact resulting from cultural restrain and conflict are as follows:

Education is one of the basic necessities, however, single women in a Nepali society are not provided with the opportunity for education.

Health: Single women, especially from rural Nepal are often denied even the basic health care services and in most cases these health care services are not even accessible to them. This aggravates their suffering further which usually results in a mental instability.

Gender Inequality: Gender based discrimination is pervasive in the Nepalese society and gender disparities exist in all spheres of life. Single women, especially the ones who are particularly vulnerable are excluded from citizenship and social services. Their representation is also particularly low in politics, therefore, decision-making remains dismally low.

Internal Migration: The decade long internal armed conflict has resulted in thousands of single women, many of whom have been forcibly displaced from their home and community. A study carried out by WHR has indicated that many single women have been displaced or are living in destitute situations; their migration is increasing in municipality areas of regional districts and they are used as forced laborers. After the death of their husbands even the properties are seized by their in-laws with no option of reintegration back in the community. This creates anguish not only for the single women but also their children. The case of urban migration is increasing among single women with a hope of better job and future, however due to less opportunities, this has forcibly lead many single women to enter into informal sectors with unstable jobs.

Feminization of Poverty: Due to thigh illiteracy rate and lack of opportunity in the rural area, most of the single women live below the national poverty line. They not only have to fulfill their needs but also raise their children and their family. They become the sole benefactor of their entire family. They become the sole benefactor of their entire family - providing even the basic necessity becomes an everyday challegende. Poverty remains the overwhelming factor for single women’s vulnerability. Their children are denied fundamental rights of healthy food and proper education.

Sexual Violence: All parliamentary Group on International Affairs in January 2010 confirmed that Nepal now has an action place on Violence Against Women (VAW) and named 2010 as the year of action on VAW. None of these changes, however, deal specifically with the problem of systematic widow abuse. The phenomenon and diversity of abuse of single women is not studied well not addressed in public education campaigns. The Governments, NGOs and the international community have largely neglected the problems relating to widowhood, and these problems are hardly mentioned in documents on poverty and documents on poverty or development of Nepal.

Role of Single Women in Peace Building Process: When it comes to the peace building process single women play a crucial role as they are much part of the society as any other members. Their contribution and involvement is indispensable but their contribution has never been acknowledged not solicited.

Target Group

WHR has adopted unique methods to give voices to single women. It brings together single women from all sides of the conflict on a leveled platform regardless of their caste, ethnic groups or political background. It also focuses on delivery services of to Home based Single Women Workers also known as HBSW and enhancing their capacities and skills to ensure a respectable standard of living.


Non-discriminatory and Inclusive Approach: Chhahari has been promoting involvement of single women irrespective of caste, ethnicity, class, geographical location, political ideology or service from all over Nepal. Accountability: Chhahari is accountable for its actions and decisions; primarily to the community it serves, also, to its funding agencies, the government, staff, volunteers, members, partner or organizations, and the public at large.

Decision-making: Chhahari has set provisions for single women to hold power for decision-making in order to enhance their accessibility.

Partnership and Networking: Chhahari gives priority to network building and always prefers working in partnership because Chhahari needs support and concern from respective authorities and stakeholders to undertake its activities.

Truthfulness: Chhahari is truthful in its dealings with its donors, project beneficiaries, staff, members, partner organizations, government and the general public.

Transparency: Chhahari is transparent in its dealings with the government, the public, donors, partners, beneficiaries, and other interested parties, except for personal matters and proprietary information.

Capacity Building: Chhahari believes in capacity building of all concerned stakeholders.

Openness in Communication: Chhahari believes in openness with members from all parts and status and with national and international stakeholders.