Feb 29 2024

She Can Do It: Samjhana Ignites the Power of Girls in Nepal


In some areas of Nepal, girls are kept from reaching their full potential simply because of their gender. The cultural practice of Chaupadi Pratha isolates and stigmatizes girls when they are menstruating, and a strong preference for sons causes mental health challenges and mistreatment for adolescent girls. 

14-year-old Samjhana has overcome extreme gender-based challenges to realize her value as a girl. Now, she speaks out so the world can understand how powerful girls really are.  

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the girls who are creating a better world for women. Read Samjhana’s story, in her own words, below, and contribute to our She Can Do It campaign by March 15 to provide a year of our signature mentorship program, GLOW Club, to young leaders like Samjhana.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity. 

Growing Up, A Girl 

Growing up in Nepal, issues such as son preference, early marriage, and negative community beliefs about girls affected my life significantly. 

In my community, the prevailing preference for sons over girls perpetuates social issues that restrict the potential of girls like me. People believe that supporting a girl would be in vain because the girl will eventually get married and move to her husband’s family. But actually, they don’t know the power of girls and the advantages of having a daughter.

Hear Samjhana advocate for girls’ rights at our virtual girl-led dialogue. Register today!

I was the fifth daughter of my own mother. As my family preferred boys more than girls, there was no care for me. I used to suffer, and my mother suffered from domestic violence just because she gave birth to a daughter: Me. 

My mother gave birth to seven daughters. Eventually, she found the courage to leave my father and start a new life for herself and us girls. 

A New Beginning

I arrived in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, and it is here that I found GLOW Club, and GLOW Club is what helped me become the person I am today. 

In GLOW Club, I built confidence and learned how to raise my voice for the rights of girls. It provided a supportive environment for making friends and opening up to other girls, teaching me the strength and value of being a girl. 

I was also selected to be a member of the Global G.L.O.W. Girl Advocacy Committee (GAC). When I became a GAC member, I understood my existence and purpose much better. I learned that I am not the only girl who faces hardships and has had a difficult life. There are millions of girls who are living difficult lives. I learned that the only way to smile and get over my troubles is to work hard to raise awareness of the discriminatory practices that make the lives of so many girls very difficult.

Even though I was able to escape, the situation back in my childhood community is still the same. It is my job to raise these issues and work together with others to find solutions for big change.

“Let’s make the world more beautiful, because if there are no women, then there is no world.”

I actively advocate for myself and other girls in Nepal by raising my voice and hosting meaningful community dialogues. I emphasize the immeasurable value and potential of girls, striving to ignite positive change in my community and beyond. 

Samjhana can create a world where the power of girls is recognized. Invest in her advocacy by donating to our “She Can Do It” campaign by March 15!

My journey through GLOW Club and my experiences in the Girl Advocacy Committee reflects a story of resilience and empowerment. My life and advocacy serve as an inspiration, highlighting the potential of girls to drive positive change. These experiences have allowed me to propose solutions to problems girls face around the world by engaging in dialogue with girls like me. 

“When I became a GAC member, I understood my existence and purpose much better. I learned that I am not the only girl who faces hardships and has had a difficult life.”

I would like to tell the world, “Now is the time to share the power of girls. Girls are not going to stay silent, so get ready to support them and understand their efforts. Let’s make the world more beautiful, because if there are no women, then there is no world.”

I hope that my story can be a testament to the transformative power of education and empowerment in the lives of girls in Nepal and around the world.

Girls like Samjhana can create a better world. Will you invest in them? Help us reach our $5,000 fundraising goal by making a gift and sharing our digital campaign toolkit with the hashtag #SheCanDoIt. Learn directly from Samjhana by joining our virtual, girl-led dialogue on girls’ rights in honor of the 68th annual Commission on the Status of Women. Register today!

This transformation story has been made possible through our collaboration with the Rukmini Foundation, which coordinates GLOW Clubs for girls across Nepal. 

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We  mentor girls to advocate for themselves and make their communities stronger.

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