Renu Rajbhandari: Globally, the Core Questions are the Same

Renu Rajbhandari, WOREC.

Women’s Rehabilitation Center Nepal (WOREC) is a non-governmental organization combatting HIV/AIDS and trafficking in human beings, and promoting the rights of women and children. WOREC seeks to strengthen the actors at grassroots level as well as affect legal and political reforms.

“When I was a doctor, I was once taken to treat a girl who had been subjected to human trafficking and taken to Mumbai. I was shocked by her story. I decided I had to do something – more than what I was capable of as a doctor. This is how WOREC was born.

Women’s rights are not adequately recognized at the grassroots communities or at global level. In the communities, the challenge is to turn words into action and get political parties to realize them.

And how could we support women human rights defenders within their communities? We are talking for others, but who is talking for us? We organized a 24-day hunger strike with 825 female participants. One of the women had to go underground since her husband threatened her because of her human rights work. I have not been able to help her. How could we change this woman’s life?

When we started our work, it was a taboo to talk about human trafficking. We were stigmatized as prostitutes when we brought the subject up. Now everyone is talking about human trafficking, both in Nepal and globally. The silence has been broken also in terms of violence against women, and people are listening to us.

Where ever in the world I go, I see that the core questions remain the same.”

KIOS has funded WOREC’s project strengthening woman human rights defenders network especially in rural areas and within grassroots actors. In addition, the project seeks to improve the rights and security of human rights defenders.



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