- Age: 28
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It's high time that we work collectively to challenge and question the social structure that is promoting the stigma and denial of sexual and reproductive health and rights and comprehensive sexuality education for young people.
- Pushpa Joshi
Pushpa Joshi is a young feminist activist from Nepal with more than eight years of experience working on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), safe abortion rights, and gender and sexuality. She is a co-founder of Youth-led Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Advocacy Nepal (YoSHAN) which is an organization committed to advocating for the SRHR in Nepal. Pushpa believes that in order to achieve gender equality and to bring social transformation, the root cause of the problem i.e., the systemic oppression and discriminatory social structure needs to be challenged.
Pushpa has also co-authored a toolkit for media and public communication professionals titled “How to Report on Abortion?” and has authored a handbook on Gender, Technology, and Sexuality which is a simple toolkit for the community activists in Nepal.
For the past three years, she has also been engaged in digital storytelling and filmmaking with young people and women of diversity. Pushpa has produced two short documentaries “Lalita” (about a young sex worker living in Kathmandu) and “Veiled” (about nuances of self-initiated child marriage in Nepal) and she also directs podcasts and other media content. Pushpa has been parts of many research projects related to women, SRHR, sexuality and gender.
What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?
At the age of 15, I joined a local youth club in my hometown where I was inspired by young women who were talking about issues of gender and SRHR with great enthusiasm. Through the club, I had opportunities to work with diverse communities. I became inspired by the stories of women in difficult circumstances, further motivating me to continue advocacy for the health and rights of women and young people.
Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.
The young girls and women who I trained and mentored on sexuality and SRHR are now working as community leaders, initiating campaigns against harmful practices pertinent in their community such as HIV stigma and child marriage. They are also implementing the learnings in their life by negotiating marriage with their parents, discussing contraceptives with their partners, and inspiring other young girls in their community. I consider this as one of my greatest achievements as an advocate for gender equality.
Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy making films, listening to music, hiking, trekking, cooking, reading books, watching movies, photography, and stargazing.
- Nepal Bhasa (Advanced/Native)
- Nepali (Advanced/Native)
- English (Intermediate)
- Hindi (Intermediate)
- How to report on Abortion? A toolkit for Media and Public Communication Professionals (2022)
- Young people’s views on religious fundamentalism, ethno-nationalism and SRHR: an SRHM South Asia virtual roundtable discussion (2022)
- Design Thinking Roundtable by ERA Chair in Social Innovation at Nova SBE (2022)
- ‘Menstrual Discrimination Practices and its Effects on Psychological Well- being of Young Women’ (2017)
- safe abortion rights
- child marriage
Past Awards, Certifications, or Fellowships:
- Sexuality, Gender and Rights Institute: Exploring Theory and Practice by CREA, LOOM, and WHR Nepal
- Youth Refresher Institute for Safe Abortion Advocacy from Asia Safe Abortion Partnership
- Training of Trainers: Facilitating Reproductive Health Classes for Young Women from Ipas
- Training of Trainers on Peer Education from Y-PEER
- Peer Educator/Facilitator on SRHR in Post Humanitarian Settings during Nepal Earthquake 2015 under 'Youth Leads in Emergency' Project from UNFPA Nepal
- Restless Development Nepal and Y-PEER Nepal