Edurne Pasaban go back to the Himalayas The first woman in history to ascend the 14 eight thousand returns to the great summits for the first time since 2011. Other challenges and companies and the birth of his son Max year ago and half made him move away from the heights that gave him fame. Today, the Guipuzcoan climber steers her steps again at age 45 for a very different reason than collecting a record or crossing a peak. its fifteenth Ochomil is to denounce the discrimination and lack of rights suffered by women in the Saipal region, in northwestern Nepal.
For its inhabitants, the Saipal peak (7,031 meters) is the home of Bishnu, god of salvation in mythology. The mountains are dwellings of the gods, and the belief mandates that women can not climb their slopes because they are considered impure from the moment of their first menstruation. Then, according to the custom called chaupadi, they are sent to a shack outside the village "in deplorable conditions", according to Pasaban, and with their life in danger. "That they will suffer all their life. Whenever they have the rule, they are expelled from home. They are considered impure. You can not touch them, nor can they touch you. They have to eat outside the house with dishes and cutlery that no one touches. They can not cook or touch food … The situation is worse than we expected. They are very small shacks. Sometimes there are four or five girls in them. They make fire to heat up and some die asphyxiated. "
The government of Nepal He has forbidden this vexatious tradition. There are economic and jail fines. But there is no police in the mountains, especially not in such a remote place, that expeditions hardly arrive, so that families have continued with derision. Some organizations have destroyed the slums. And the remedy has been worse. The girls have continued to be expelled from their homes and forced in such cases to live in the jungle, at the mercy of snake bites and the attack of other animals. It is part of a life in which at 14 they will be forced to marry a man they do not know and probably at 15 they are pregnant.
"This is very hard," says Pasaban from Nepal. These days she has visited women sent to these shacks, she has known their stories. Some confess that they want to break with that tradition. They ask for "another future" for their granddaughters. As a symbol to break those chains, Pasaban will climb the Saipal with four girls from the area, Sangita Rokaya, Laxmi Budha, Pabitra Bohora and Saraswati Thapa, young people who have decided to step forward to change the society in which they live tied. It was not easy to find them. The idea was born of a producer who for years already shot a documentary about the example of some Nepalese girls who played football. Now he also wants to record a tape about these new mountaineers. "Climbing this sietemil is forbidden to them. It is said that they bring bad luck in the mountains. We want to raise awareness that they will not bring any misfortune to climb. We want to show that they can. Women are the best agent of social change, but first they have to change them. The expedition is a mission to change these women first and then they help others to change, "explains Pasaban.
The future goal is for Sangita, Laxmi, Pabitra and Saraswati to create the first trekking agency in the area. "It is important that they work in something other than home," sums up the Spanish mountaineer, "that they demonstrate that they can do something themselves, and that they see that there is a world in which women decide for us".