We're organizing a Women's Mountaineering Alliance
Namaste! My name is Dr. Harshwanti Bisht. I am a mountaineer, a professor of tourism economics, and an activist for conservation and sustainable development in India's Garhwal Himalaya. In collaboration with Mountain Legacy, I am organizing an association of women's mountaineering clubs in colleges and universities throughout the Himalayan region.
Empowerment of women is vital to our region, especially in poor mountain communities. Women need the confidence and the skills to become entrepreneurs, leaders, and policy makers. As mountaineers, they will combine sports with practical work in recreation planning and economic development. They will undertake projects of their own choosing, whether waste management, or afforestation, or trail improvement, or infrastructure design, or whatever seems useful, always mindful of the objectives of gender equity and responsible stewardship.
The central rationale of Mountain Power, which is also the theme of the United Nations Sport for Development and Peace program, is that sports are useful for the development of the individual, for interpersonal relations, and for larger social constructs. Sports opportunities for women have lagged far behind those for men, particularly in developing regions, depriving women of recreation, physical challenges, and leadership training. Mountain Power clubs will not only provide girls and young women experience in sports such as climbing, trekking, skiing, and rafting, but will also foment interest in conserving nature, protecting cultural sites, and developing economic opportunities in remote communities. The implementation of an international network of such clubs will allow for safe and economical exchange excursions by individuals or teams, as well as collaborative projects bringing together clubs from many schools.
Mountain Power Steering Committee
- Dr. Harshwanti Bisht, mountaineer, professor, ecologist; first female mountaineer to summit Nanda Devi; Arjuna Award 1981, Member Indian Everest Expedition 1981, Reader in Department of Economics, Government Post Graduate College, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, India; director, Himalayan Association for Development & Research Initiatives (HADRI)
- Sue Badyari, CEO of World Expeditions
- Bimla Negi Deoskar, mountaineer, leader of All Women Expedition of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation to Mt Bhagirathi II, in Garhwal
- Maya Sherpa, mountaineer, two-time Everest summiteer; member of the First Nepalese Women K2 Expedition (2014); secretary of Everest Summiteers Association; Executive Board Member of International Mountain Museum; Nepal Mountaineering Association;
- Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, mountaineer, member of the First Nepalese Women K2 Expedition (2014) [This is not the same Pasang Lhamu who climbed Everest in 1993 and perished in an avalanche....]
- Arunima Sinha, former volleyball player on Indian national team; first female amputee to climb Mount Everest
- Frances Klatzel, managing director and owner of Mera Publications; photographer, author (most recently: Gaiety of Spirit: The Sherpas of Everest)
- Jyoti Mainali
If you are interested in joining this effort, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.