An all-female expedition reached the summit of Mount Everest as part of an extraordinary undertaking to send a strong message for women's empowerment.
A group of 6 Nepalese women, led by Kanchhi Maya Tamang, began climbing Everest from its southern flank on the Nepali side of the mountain. By conquering the world's highest summit, standing at 8848 meters, these climbers have proven to the world that women can take on any challenge.
This adventure required intense physical and mental preparation: the team had to face climatic conditions that were both extreme and unpredictable.
While most of these women had grown up in mountainous areas, long preparation was still necessary to prepare them for the harsh climate, the lack of oxygen, low pressure and extreme cold. Suitable equipment was also essential to deal with these conditions.
“We saw heaven from our own eyes.”
Once they reached the summit, the mountain climbers were able to take in the extraordinary panoramic view from the top of Mount Everest. “We felt that we reached heaven; truly, we felt like we were in heaven”, they said.
Kanchhi Maya is the first Tamang woman to reach the roof of the world; she is also the first woman to climb Mount Everest for an important cause. On the mountaintop, she raised a flag that read: “We are people, not property”. A very strong message, synonymous with the fight against human trafficking, for which women and girls in her region are particularly at risk.
During her speech after the return of the expedition, Kanchhi Maya, herself a former victim of modern slavery, made a point of drawing attention to her fight for women’s empowerment and for gender equality in sports.
"For many Nepali women and girls, there is an invisible Everest between their homes and the sports field. I have climbed Everest to empower women who are climbing their own mountains."
The team received support from Essilor Sun Solution and from the Sherpa Shepherds association. In addition, Kanchhi Maya Tamang is an ambassador for UN Women Nepal, a United Nations organization founded in 2010 to advance the rights of women around the world.
This feat has given Kanchhi Maya Tamang and her team celebrity status in Nepal. While the climb wasn’t as easy as expected, 5 of them nevertheless managed to pull it off brilliantly. They have proven that women can strive to reach any heights and have all the resources necessary to achieve the most ambitious goals. Now, they’re ready to take on new challenges!
Essilor Sun Solution is proud to have supported these No ordinary women in this adventure!