All-Female Nepali Expedition completes
May 2008; On 25 May, the tenth and final Nepali member of the First Inclusive Women's Sagarmatha Expedition (FIWSE) completed her summit bid, making FIWSE the most successful female expedition to conquer Sagarmatha (Mount Everest). This group unfurled the MDG 3 banner offered by the Danish Embassy at the summit in support of Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women.
The team includes ten Nepali women, from 17-27 years-old, representing a range of the country's castes and ethnicities. This is the first time that women from the Brahmin, Chettri, Danuwar, and Gurung communities have summited Mount Everest. Out of the ten women, only two had prior mountaineering experience. Before this expedition, seven Nepali women had scaled the world's highest peak.
The expedition was supported by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) along with the Government and non-government organisations including the private sector. As climbers and mountaineers, the FIWSE 2008 team is also very concerned about the affects of global warming on Nepalese people and their livelihoods, and its impacts on one of Nepal's greatest resources ' the Himalayas. They hope to play a significant role in promoting girls' education, empowering women and educating people about the affects of climate change in Nepal after completing the expedition.
'This is extraordinarily impressive. These ten young women have proven that a same common will, the commitment to a higher common goal and unfailing team work can bridge over any original differences in skills, experience, education and ethnicity. We look forward to their observation on climate change upon their return,' said Anne-Isabelle Degryse-Blateau, UNDP Country Director in Nepal.