WOW | People

Woman to watch 2016

Amuda Mishra

Founder/ Executive Director, Ujyalo Foundation


An advocate of gender equality, Amuda Mishra believes that woman should be become equal change makers in the world. Her movement is spreading across Nepal with various empowerment programs organised by the Ujyalo Foundation and the creation of the Nidaar app and website a gender based violence reporting tool changing the way we report such crimes.
Titled Miss Unity by Miss Asian American Colorado Leadership program, Vice Chairperson of HamroChahana Nepal, Amuda is working hard to create safe empowered spaces for women in Nepal, hoping that her efforts will make it easier for people to accept and practice gender equality in the years to come.

Most significant barrier to female leadership

Hypocrisy in our society. While we worship mute statues of Goddesses in temples, we shamelessly beat our women at home. We need to change this mindset. This is the most significant barrier to female leadership. Agendas and round table discussions will not change anything if women are still considered weak. We still cannot guarantee women safety anywhere in Nepal and until and unless we don’t foster safe environment for women they will always lag behind in leadership, in everything and all these talks about female leadership will just be a myth.

Woman of inspiration

My mother is an epitome of resilience, determination and strength. Growing up, my dad was always away for work and my mom was often playing the roles of both parents for my sister and me. She made sure she was there not only physically but also emotionally for us when we were growing up. In addition, my mom followed my dad to the States when she was in her mid thirties. When most of her friends were resorting to life at home, she decided to teach herself how to drive a car, found a job, and started supporting my dad with the household finances. My mom’s go getting spirit whether it be taking up new responsibilities and roles, going above and beyond in raising her kids or supporting her partner, and her determination to thrive through challenges no matter how difficult they are is amazing and commendable. Her resolve to always leave a situation better than she found it is what I admire about her.

women-to-watch-Amuda-Mishra1Biggest challenge for the next generation women

The mindset of our society, to get rid of worrying too much of what they might say, the generation of women before us started the revolution for mindset change and that is why we are here today – a little free and safe from the scrutiny of the society. Now, our generation of women need to make sure we take this revolution to a newer height so that women behind us can have it a little easier than us.

Best advice you have ever been given

My mentor used to always say this to me “ What we practice in private is what we become in public.” These days we barely invest any time in solitude and introspection, we are always on the go. Right now, with Ujyalo being so demanding I barely get to spend some time with myself in private and I have started realising the gravity of that statement. The more time I spend with myself, the things I do in private defines my attitude, my take on things in my public sphere. Hence, it is so important to be connected to yourself so that we can connect to other people and do meaningful things.

Greatest fulfilment

Starting Ujyalo Foundation here in Nepal and developing one of the first few gender based violence reporting tool- NIDARR has given me the greatest satisfaction so far. Not only me, but also my whole team felt the sense of accomplishment when we won the NCell App Camp Utilities category last year in December for NIDARR. It was more than winning an app camp for us, it was creating something that would impact people around Nepal. The development of the app has also empowered me at a personal level – it makes me feel in control of uncertainties. Also, the realisation that with our smartphone application we can change how individuals can report and seek help in any case of gender based violence in Nepal inspires me to do more and make the reporting tool stronger and better.