Fair Trade Empowers Women: A Story of Mundu Thapa

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It might be difficult to deny that social discrimination against women exists in Nepal. The issue of gender inequality of Nepal has been addressed by the press for a long time. However, it does not mean that there are no possibilities for change even though circumstances in general are quite tough for women.

 

Mundu Thapa, The first woman chairperson of Coffee Cooperative Union Sindhupalchok
 
 We would like to introduce a brilliant woman whom I know, and who proves power of women. Mundu Thapa(32) is a chairperson of district level Coffee Cooperative Union (CCU) Sindhupalchok. In 2016, the fourth year of establishment of CCU Sindhupalchok, members held an election for a new leader who could make improvements on their cooperative. As a result of the election, she turned out to be a new chairperson. It was the first time that a woman becomes a chairperson of one of the coffee cooperatives in Nepal.
 
 Mundu started coffee farming almost at the same time she married when she was 18 years old. Working as a coordinator of organic coffee production (Internal Control) system, she has been most active than anyone else in producing Fair Trade coffee and participating in organizational capacity building.
 
Mundu Thapa attending a cooperative meeting
 Many members of the cooperative compliment her on her professionality and passion as a coffee producer. Besides it was she who really did the best to take care of cooperative members and struggled to manage an aid relief to help people recovering from the devastating 2015 earthquake. Of course there were some people worrying about a ‘female’ chairperson at the beginning, however, now all of the 603 families of CCU Sindhupalchok trust and follow her.
 
Mundu Thapa looking around coffee pulping centers in Sindhupalchok
 
“Coffee is so important thing to me. Sometimes I ask myself ‘how do I live without coffee?’ I hardly imagine. Therefore, I take it for granted that I do this job (as a chairperson) for coffee and other coffee producers” She said.
 
We―Beautiful Coffee Nepal―thank her for her efforts and believe that she is already a role model giving courage and insights to other women around her.

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