The HYATT WOW Women Achievers Award 2020-21 is as a tribute to the unrelenting spirit of achievement and womanhood. A collaboration between Hyatt Regency Kathmandu and WOW – World of Women magazine, it is an annual event held since 2017. HWWAA 2020-21 honoured the women who are championing gender equality and empowerment by the sheer force of their work and leadership. These are the women who are agents of change, and who make us believe in the power of one – the one person who can start from where they are and with their commitment inspire the transformation of societies, communities and nations. These are the ordinary women doing extraordinary things. These are the women who help forge a gender equal world.
From challenge comes change. The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is Choose to Challenge. Let’s commit to choose to challenge and call out inequality.
Lisa Choegyal is the New Zealand Honorary Consul to Nepal since 2010.
With a background in international development and psychology, Bahar Kumar is the Director of Nepal Communitere.
As the Director of Sanskriti International School, Diptee Acharya has contributed in the education sector for more than 27 years.
A graduate of the Turkish Armed Forces Health College in Ankara, Filiz Kececi is currently with the Health Ministry of Turkey responsibile for the IT department in the regional office in Istanbul.
Rita Shrestha represents the owning company of Hyatt Regency Kathmandu, Taragaon Regency Hotels and is humanitarian supporting social causes.
HONORS PRESENTED TO HYATT WOW WOMEN ACHIEVERS AWARD 2020-21
Arts: Belmaya Nepali
Belmaya Nepali has achieved more than she could ever have imagined; from being born into a poor Dalit family to becoming a popular documentary filmmaker. The credit for her popularity goes to her first short film: Educate Our Daughters, a personal documentary on the importance of education for girls. It won the Short Film Competition at the UK Asian Film Festival 2019.
Social Service/ Activism: Sangita Magar
Sangita Magar has not only braved an acid attack but fought to change the law and raise awareness. She challenged the country’s law on acid and burn violence and persuaded the Supreme Court to order that survivors receive immediate financial support from the government to cover the treatment expenses.
Leadership: Sunita Danuwar
In 1996, when Sunita Danuwar was 14, she was kidnapped and trafficked into sex work. Rescued after four years in a brothel, she banded with other survivors to found Shakti Samuha. Under her leadership, Shakti Samuha has helped more than 20,000 people in some of the poorest communities across 13 districts in Nepal.
Entrepreneurship: Rita Manushi Sunuwar
Born and brought up in rural Rukum, Rita Manushi Sunuwar joined the Maoist rebellion force while studying in grade six. Currently, she owns an agricultural enterprise and is proud of the success she has attained. Her venture is now run on 110 ropanis of land.
Inspiring Woman of the Year 2021: Muskan Khatun
In 2019, at the age of 15, Muskan became the victim of an acid attack for rejecting a boy’s advances. Despite this, Muskan turned a tragedy into opportunity to bring about change in Nepal. Facing threats and social pressure, Muskan lobbied for stronger laws and punishments for acid attacks. She met with Prime Minister K.P. Oli who called for a new law to be drafted for acid attacks, and issued an ordinance punishing perpetrators and regulating the sale of chemicals.
Inspiring Woman of the Year 2020: Sabitra Bhandari
Nepali lady footballer Sabitra Bhandari created a new record of having scored the highest number of international goals ever by any Nepali woman footballer.
Recently, National team striker Sabitra alone scored a dozen goals as leaders Armed Police Force Club (APF) demolished Chaudandigadhi Municipality 22-0 in the National Women’s Football League.