Gurkha Widows
Everywoman meets the Nepalese women left in destitution by the British government.
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2008 12:09 GMT

The families of Gurkhas are denied compensation
by the British government
Earlier this year, the British government improved pensions for Gurkhas - Nepalese soldiers attached to the British army. But only for those who retired after 1997. For others, even though they have shed blood in the line of duty, there was no change. Some receive just a sixth of the normal army pension, and some get nothing.

In Nepal, where there is no state healthcare or social benefits, thousands of army widows have been left in destitution. Everywoman went to Nepal to meet some of those struggling to survive.

Joining Shiulie Ghosh from London is lawyer Matthew Gold who has been representing Gurkhas in their legal battle for equal rights.

Everywoman also asked the British ministry of defence how it responded to accusations that it had abandoned the families of thousands of former Gurkhas to a life of poverty, and it said: "The British government greatly values the contribution of the Gurkhas past and present and has not abandoned them. It has been the policy of successive UK Governments to ensure that the terms and conditions of service for Gurkhas and their families are fair."
The spokesman went on to say that the government also provided financial support to the Gurkha Welfare Trust, which helps alleviate hardship for former Gurkhas and their families even in the most remote areas of Nepal.

Code Pink 

Code Pink campaigning against the presence
of US soldiers in Iraq
You probably know that recently the commander of the American forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, testified before the US Congress in Washington.

While he was doing that a large crowd of peace protesters were outside demanding the withdrawal of American troops.

Some of the loudest voices belonged to the women-led anti-war group Code Pink. 

Its cofounder Medea Benjamin ended up being arrested for disruptive behaviour.

She is now out of custody and joins us from Washington.

Stories from the Chinese city

Li Ying is worth $65million
We look at one woman who has joined the economic elite, a businesswoman who has competed, and won, against men in a male dominated industry.

In a society where many women are still dependent on their husbands, Li Ying is worth a cool $65million.

She told Everywoman's Ju Lin Ong about the driving force behind her ambition.


Watch this episode of Everywoman here:


Part 1:


Part 2:

This episode of Everywoman aired from Friday 5 October 2007.


To contact us click on 'Send your feedback' at the top of the page

Watch Al Jazeera English programmes on YouTube

Join our debates on the Your Views page

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.