KATHMANDU, July 18: United States Secretary of State John Kerry has met with seven Nepali Women Mountaineers in Washington on Wednesday.
The Nepali women climbers are visiting Washington, DC and Los Angeles from July 16 to 23 for promoting women’s empowerment, education, and environmental awareness.
“Secretary Kerry met with the women on their first day in Washington as participants in the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP),” reads a press statement issued by the US Department of State.
The women team are also meeting with top U.S. officials, nongovernmental organizations, and youth groups to discuss ways to encourage women and girls across the globe to reach new heights in their home communities, as well as ways to build community-based environmental conservation programs, the statement says.
The women group includes Shushmita Maskey, Shaili Basnet, Nimdoma Sherpa, Maya Gurung, Poojan Acharya, Usha Bista, Asha Kumari Singh, Nawang Futi Sherpa, Chunu Shrestha and Pema Diki Sherpa.Their ages range from 18 to 31 years.
“Through a range of efforts that includes sports diplomacy, the State Department works to advance the rights of women and girls to ensure they have equal rights and opportunities to contribute to their societies, and ultimately to global stability and security,” the statement further says.
Since 2008, the Seven Summits Women have visited more than 200 schools in Nepal, Australia, Russia, Tanzania, Argentina, and the United States, and engaged hundreds of local women in outdoor activities with the goal of inspiring them to participate in activities traditionally considered off-limits to women.
The all-women team had climbed Mt. McKinley (Denali) in Alaska on June 24 and has now reached the top of six of the seven summits of the highest mountains on each of the seven continents. Only Antarctica’s Mount Vinson remains for them to conquer. Their goal is to become the first all-female team to climb the highest mountain on each continent.