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From Thesis to Action

This project engages with key stakeholders in Nepal to explore how findings from PhD research can create positive change for widowed women.

  • School/Institute/Department: School of Geography
  • Subjects: Development, Gender Studies, Participatory research
  • Audience: Third sector organisations in Nepal, Nepali Government and social activists

‘From Thesis to Action’ is a project funded by the Centre for Public Engagement that aims to continue the legacy of a longstanding 7-year long research interest in widowed women. Through the dissemination of PhD research on widowhood, this project will engage with key stakeholders in Nepal exploring how the findings can be affected to create positive change for widowed women.

Although the practice of sati, a Hindu form of ritual suicide, was outlawed in 1920 in Nepal widowed women still face discrimination. They are restricted in their access to property, in the places they can go, in the relationships they can have and in the clothes that they wear. This PhD research was initiated to bring attention to the issue of widowhood, and to understand more about its complexities. Hence why this project, that aims to disseminate the research and explore the ways it can be translated into social change, is so important.

This project will take place over a 5-week period in Nepal. The findings of this PhD research will be disseminated to participants originally involved in this study within the Kathmandu Valley. These participants will be social activists who are supporting and advocating for the rights of widowed women. To extend the reach and legacy of this project, workshops will be organised in the districts of Nuwakot, Chitwan and Kaski outwith the original research area. 

In these workshops there will be a number of activities including brainstorming exercises and solution charts about how the findings of this research can be put into practice. These ideas will be taken to key stakeholder organisations and Government officials. 

This project will encourage widowed women to think about the impending issue of ageing and how older widowed women can be supported within this changing climate. Further to this, this project will initiate conversations and explore the ways in which widowed women can be supported in breaking taboos and restrictions around remarriage. Through these discussions, and by bringing widowed social activists together, this project will continue the legacy of this research, and will help to inform future research and initiatives supporting widowed women.

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