70 Stories: Sapana Malla and Women’s Rights

Empowering Women’s Rights: Ms. Sapana Pradhan Malla’s Impactful Journey

How Did Malla Empower Women in Nepal and Beyond?

Over 200,000 leaders from across the globe have been invited to the United States on the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). A chosen few among these individuals are invited back on a second IVLP, recognizing the ongoing impact they continue to have on their communities and the globe. One of these special visitors is a Nepalese Supreme Court Justice and a former member of both the Constituent Assembly and the UN Committee Against Torture, Ms. Sapana Pradhan Malla, who has been to KC twice!

What Insights Did Malla Gain During Her Visits to Kansas City?

drafting inclusive laws to championing reproductive rights and challenging discriminatory practices.

Her first trip to Kansas City, in October 2005, focused on “Women and Economic Development” and included meetings with the KU Women’s Studies Department, Kauffman Foundation, ABWA, NAWIC, Central Exchange, Kansas Women’s Business Center, Greater KC Chamber of Commerce, and the World Trade Center (then under Mary Pyle). At the time, Ms. Malla was serving as the Executive President of the Forum for Women, Law and Development. Malla used this unique opportunity to closely examine the American political system. 

Following this exchange, she went home and was elected to serve as a member of the Nepalese Constituent Assembly, where she was involved in drafting Nepal’s constitution. One of her notable contributions was her dedication to incorporating inclusive language into the country’s new constitution. She even made changes in Nepal that have had global ripple effects, including passing a landmark marital rape law and drafting the Gender Equality Amendment Act as well as a model Human Trafficking Act. In an interview with UN Women, Malla shared,

“Women make up over 70 percent of students in law schools in Nepal. Now is the time to create and sustain a space for them in the justice sector.”

In 2015, Malla was invited back to KC on a “Gold Star” IVLP exchange. As Malla met with Kansas City political leaders and toured women’s rights organizations including Planned Parenthood, Veronica’s Voice, and the Rose Brooks Center, Senator Claire McCaskill, American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas, The Rotary Club of Kansas City, and Shawnee Mission East High School. We were inspired by her passion for equality and championing the rights of women in her country and beyond. 

Inspiring Change: What Legacy Does Malla Leave Behind?

Malla has been instrumental in striking down more than 64 discriminatory laws in Nepal as she has worked toward decriminalizing abortion, criminalizing marital rape, and securing reproductive rights and women’s rights to inheritance.

Supporting Global Ties KC’s Mission

We are so honored to have hosted Honourable Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla on her visits to Kansas City. Her influence extends far beyond the borders of her country and we hope that her tours of our nation have been similarly influential. Click here to learn more about Global Ties KC and join our mission!