- Age: 31
- | She/her/hers
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Youth must be accepted as active partners in accelerating progress for achieving gender equality because we are the ones who hold the future of humanity and have the potential to be the most creative force to foster social change with our out of the box thinking.
- Bonita Sharma
Bonita Sharma was born and raised in Nepal. She received a master’s degree in home science with a specialization in food and nutrition from Tribhuwan University in 2018. As Co-founder and CEO of Social Changemakers and Innovators (SOCHAI), Bonita works with the administration, program, and business team for the overall management of the company including strategic planning, budgeting, product/intervention development, community outreach, communication, and evaluation related to public health and nutrition. She also establishes relationships with the government, NGOs, and organizations to collaborate and strategically achieve SOCHAI’s key performance indicators. As Core Team and board member at Youth Led SRHR Advocacy Nepal (Yo SHAN), Bonita is responsible for developing innovative advocacy and communication, digital content including infographics, video, blogs on sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR), and using the generated content for online advocacy on gender equality and right to safe abortion.
Additionally, she is a youth member at the Nutrition and Food Security Steering Committee of Province 3, Government of Nepal and Youth Champion at Asia Safe Abortion Partnership.
What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?
Growing up in a patriarchal society, I was able to understand the discrimination between males and females from a very young age. I had fallen into trap of the same patriarchal mindset, but as I got the exposure and opportunities to analyze the existing barriers and discrimination through education and training programs, everything changed for me. My fight against gender inequality began from my own home when I stopped living in isolation during menstruation.
Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.
Through my youth organization, SOCHAI, we have conducted several community-based interventions to tackle menstrual taboos and empower young adolescents as changemakers and leaders. To date, almost 3,000 adolescent girls and boys have benefited from this program, and they are now advocating for menstrual health and hygiene in their own schools.
Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?
I am an avid animal lover, so I love spending time with my pets. I also like traveling and exploring the beauty of nature.
- Nepali (Advanced/Native)
- English (Intermediate)
- Hindi (Elementary)
- nutrition during the first 1000 days
- youth engagement in social innovation for health
- safe abortion through a gender lens