Dateline: Oct 5
SBS profiles the Sherpa women defying traditional gender roles to conquer the world's highest mountain.
Dateline tonight on SBS reports from Nepal as it profiles the Sherpa women defying traditional gender roles to conquer the world’s highest mountain.
The climbing prowess of Sherpas is legendary, but for generations, it’s been a male domain.
That convention is now being challenged by Sherpa women attempting to summit Everest and force a rethink about the role of women and widows in their community.
“Last year around this time… I was back home in Phortse… working in the field and doing household chores to get by,” says Sherkilamu.
Strapped into a harness at Khumbu Climbing Centre, Sherkilamu knows the pain and suffering that Everest can inflict – her husband died in a climbing accident in 2007.
But after years of financial struggles, she decided to follow in his footsteps and begin training to become a mountain guide.
“It will be great if I’m able to summit Everest. People will respect me. If I succeed, they’ll know what I’m capable of.”
Her story is a common one here in the village of Phortse, more than 3800 metres above sea level.
9:30pm tonight on SBS.