Nepal Maoist Leader: Women Driving Movement

During a decade of revolution in Nepal, women and children may have suffered most. Doualy Xaykaothao hide caption

Nepal: The Toll of Conflict
itoggle caption Doualy Xaykaothao
Hisila Yami, known as Comrade Parvati, is the most senior woman in Nepal's Maoist insurgency. In thi i i

Hisila Yami, known as Comrade Parvati, is the most senior woman in Nepal's Maoist insurgency. In this photo she's in hiding in New Delhi, but she makes clandestine trips to Nepal. Doualy Xaykaothao hide caption

itoggle caption Doualy Xaykaothao
Hisila Yami, known as Comrade Parvati, is the most senior woman in Nepal's Maoist insurgency. In thi

Hisila Yami, known as Comrade Parvati, is the most senior woman in Nepal's Maoist insurgency. In this photo she's in hiding in New Delhi, but she makes clandestine trips to Nepal.

Doualy Xaykaothao
Map of Nepal, India i i
Map of Nepal, India

Nepal's Maoist insurgency is unusual not just for its ideology but also for the many women in its ranks — estimated at 30 to 50 percent. The most senior woman in the insurgency is known as Comrade Parvati. She mostly stays across the border in India, making occasional clandestine trips back to Nepal.

In a rare interview, conducted in New Delhi, Comrade Parvati offers her views on why women are drawn to the insurgency, how children are pulled in, too, and why she feels killing is sometimes necessary.

A female battalion commander in the hills of western Nepal says she joined the insurgency to resist discrimination against women.

But to the Nepalese army, the Maoists are little more than terrorists. And a U.N. human rights official says the army and the Maoists are both guilty of abuses.

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