All-Female Nepali Expedition Completes Historic Mount Everest Summit Bid Kathmandu
27, May, 2008 (DANIDA/UNWFP/UNDP) - 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).
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.
Prior to this expedition, only 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), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the support of the European Commission (EC) along with the government and non-government organizations including the private sector.
FIWSE 2008 members hope that their efforts will not only open up mountaineering as both a sport and a career for women in Nepal, but will also empower women to pursue their goals, especially their access to education.
'This expedition stands as evidence that women can excel in all fields. These young women have demonstrated that they are equally skilled, courageous and as strong their as male counterparts. We are happy that we supported their efforts, and look forward to their ongoing contribution towards empowering and encouraging women in Nepal. 'This group unfurled the MDG3 banner at the summit in support of Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women,' stated Danish Ambassador to Nepal, Finn Thilsted.
'This achievement shows that no dream is too big. This represents a giant leap for Nepali women and dispels the notion that adventure sports should be closed to certain groups. We congratulate them for their achievements and are looking forward to their safe return to Kathmandu,' stated WFP Country Representative in Nepal, Richard Ragan.
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.
The FIWSE team is expected to arrive back in Kathmandu the first week of June.
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