UN Women Nepal
Nepal has set itself the goal to graduate from least developed country status by 2022. Cited as one of the ‘fastest movers’ by the Human Development Report, the country has made significant progress towards achieving its development goals. The focus on broad-based economic growth and poverty alleviation has produced encouraging results, with the percentage of the population living below the poverty line falling from 42 in 1996 to 25.4 in 2011. Despite the difficult post-conflict transitional context, the country is expected to achieve six out of its eight Millennium Development Goals by 2015, and is likely to achieve targets for poverty and hunger, universal primary education, child mortality, maternal health and gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Women’s representation in the Constituent Assembly dramatically increased to 29 per cent in the November 2013 elections from 2.9 per cent in 1991 (in the then parliament). Additionally, Nepal has demonstrated active leadership in development issues globally, playing a formative role in the development and adoption of the Istanbul Programme of Action in 2011... Read more
News and Updates
“We will never reach any of our objectives without the equal participation of half the world’s population, and without drawing fully on their expertise, capacities and experience”. Ending gender inequality is therefore both an outcome as well as a necessary condition for securing sustainable development. It is a necessary condition in the sense that women, especially those from the most excluded groups must be empowered to bring their differential experiences and interests to inform the development agenda.
“I was born in a traditional Newar household in Patan, Kathmandu Valley, and my childhood was highly influenced by my family’s cultural background. I lived in a big family with my grandparents and they did not speak Nepali. So, I grew up speaking Nepal Bhasa, my mother tongue. However, at school I would get shut out of my native language as I was only exposed to Nepali and English, the only two languages used in most educational institutions in Nepal.
Nepal’s transition from a unitary to a federal system has paved the way for the formulation of legal and policy reform, as well as restructuring and the establishment of mechanisms and organizations. We are still in the process of transferring funds and deploying civil servants to the sub-national levels. We believe that the new system of governance will be more effective for ensuring inclusion. The government will now benefit by having elected representatives and government officials at the sub-national levels where they can work in close proximity with the community.
Over a journey of 25 years, we have seen many peaks and plains… The status of women in Nepal used to be very low. Child marriage was rampant; women were limited to household chores, deprived of education, health and employment opportunities, among others. There was very limited representation and participation of women in politics. Since then, substantial changes have taken place. The Constitution of Nepal (2015) guaranteed various rights to women.
“I have been playing cricket since 2007, after receiving a one-week training at my school. I was in eighth grade then and the training was open to everyone in my class. We started playing amongst friends, sometimes even skipping classes to play cricket. Back then, our families weren’t supportive. No one believed that we would make it very far. Our society did not have confidence in blind players like us. We faced many challenges to continue our passion for cricket.
UN Women and the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens (MoWCSC) of the Government of Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to take forward their partnership in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in Nepal. The five-year agreement was signed by Wenny Kusuma, Representative of UN Women Nepal and Rudra Devi Sharma, Joint Secretary of MoWCSC, in the presence of Honorable Minister Tham Maya Thapa and Acting Secretary Bir Bahadur.
Padma Chaudhary, a 38-year-old mother of two, leaves early in the morning from her home in the village of Phulwari to her e-rickshaw stall almost 20 km away, in Dhangadhi bazaar. Decked in a smart, long red coat that matches her bright red chariot on wheels, she marvels at how much her life has changed in the months since she acquired the vehicle, which has allowed her to work independently.