Menuka is an outdoor enthusiast and an activist. She co-runs a company called duluwa outdoors in Nepal that focuses on curating outdoor activities for women by women. She enjoys working with young women and aspires to contribute further in leadership and outdoors sector. She believes in the power of narrative and story telling

How did you first hear about the project and what made you sign up/what were your expectations?

I heard about this project through twitter. I had followed the Women's Resource Centre on twitter and one day I came across this program and went through the session that was being covered and I knew straight away that I have to apply for this! As an activist/entrepreneur/student I have always been a keen learner to sharpen my skills and especially the title Feminist leadership really caught my attention. How the group openly claimed themselves to be focusing on feminist leadership hence I was all sold out for this program.

 What did you think of the training programme?

I really enjoyed the training programme. Especially the fact that it took place once a week at a specific time made it easier for me to plan and be focused. The diverse group being not limited to the UK only helped and the coordination between the facilitators created a safe space for all the participants to really share their experience and learn together. Clear communication from the team about session content and about each topic for every week was well coordinated. That gave us time for preparation and the after session handouts will always be handy. I still go back to some of the ice breaker activities and have also shared some content from the program like listing and analysing their friend circle to notice any biases and similarity.

 How has the project impacted you personally and/or professionally?

Professionally I was able to tap into various spectrums of feminist leadership and understand various components that shaped it. There are times when I felt like I did not know much about feminist movement. I love the idea of being a student again and really sit and learn from people and their past experiences. Topics like personal biases, burn out and negotiations are such important topics which are surely discussed in work space but not really discussed and given the priority that’s required. Hence, during the sessions I got a chance to reflect on my own biases and it helped not only professionally but personally as well because what I do professionally aligns with my personal values as well so it goes hand in hand.

 What could have been done better?

A better distribution of break out rooms may be. I was paired with mostly the same people most of the time so maybe more mindful separation of participants would have been effective for me. More time to talk about takeaway assignments or reflection with the whole participants would have brought us closer. For example: maybe in the beginning of each session we could have spent 30 minutes just sharing our thoughts on the takeaway assignments because I really like the part where we had to talk about our personal aspirations and story. I got to know about the participants even more so something like that in the beginning would have been more powerful.

 Is there anything else you want to mention?

Definitely more diversity of women from various regions would be great! :)

Although it's focused for women in the UK only but may be even in that section involving women from diverse working backgrounds, sexual orientation would be great. The diversity of my  group was indeed a great effort, there’s always space for more diversity and more more conversation around it :)


Thank you so much Menuka for giving feedback on your experience of the Feminist Leadership Training Programme!