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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 26, 2007

Maoist Insurgency In Nepal Focus Of Feb. 1 SASP Lecture

Prabha Thacker, chairperson of MANUSHI, a non-governmental organization (NGO) working to help disadvantaged men and women around the globe, will present a lecture titled "The Maoist Insurgency in Nepal: Challenges for Peace and Sustainability" from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1 in 14 Schaeffer Hall on the University of Iowa campus. MANUSHI is derived from the Sanskrit word "manushya," which means humanity.

The University of Iowa South Asian Studies Program, International Programs and the UI Department of Women's Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) are sponsoring this lecture. It is free and open to the public, and chai and samosas will be served.

As chairperson of MANUSHI, Thacker works for development with a human face. During her lecture, she will discuss how the growth model of development has failed to deliver its promises in Nepal, increasing poverty, social conflict, human insecurity and widening gaps both social and economic. In addition, she will share how the Maoist insurgency and the absence of good governance has caused thousands of young able-bodied men and women to flee the country, leaving behind mostly the elderly and children. Empowering women remains a founding principle of MANUSHI. MANUSHI is also a member of the Fair Trade Group.

Thacker earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Tribhuvan University in Nepal. She has also undertaken graduate work in the United Kingdom and the United States, earning a degree from Pratt Institute in New York. As a consultant, she has traveled widely throughout South and Southeast Asia. Thacker has worked as gender advisor to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in Nepal, coordinator for CIDA's South Asia Gender Fund and has also received the President's Excellence Award. She has presented at international conferences and published on a range of topics related to gender, including armed conflict and land resource management.

In 2004, Thacker was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education as visiting scholar and researched public policy concerns in the United States in relation to women, civil liberties and NGOs. She was a faculty member at the Heller School of Public Policy and Management at Brandeis University in spring 2006 where she taught on gender and natural resource management.

For more information or special accommodations to attend this lecture, contact Heidi Vekemans, International Programs events coordinator, at (319) 335-3862.

For more information on SASP, visit: call Meena Khandelwal, SASP co-director and UI assistant anthropology professor, at (319) 335-2496.

SASP is a part of International Programs, which enables University of Iowa students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all University constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Heidi Vekemans, 319-335-3862, heidi-vekemans; Writer: Kelli Andresen.