Government of Finland provides 4 million EUROS (NPR 514 million) to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in Nepal through UN Women

Date: Thursday, December 20, 2018

[Joint Press Release]

Kathmandu, Nepal — The Government of Finland and UN Women have signed an agreement to collaborate and support the implementation of Government of Nepal’s national priorities and commitments on enhancing women’s economic empowerment and political participation and to advance our mission towards poverty eradication in Nepal. The agreement, worth 4 million Euros (approximately NPR 514 million), covering a period of four years (2018-2022), was signed by H.E Mr. Pertti Anttinen, Ambassador of Finland to Nepal, and Ms. Maria-Noel VAEZA VAQUE, Director, Programme Division, UN Women. This is continuity to Finland’s on-going 4 million EUROs support to UN Women for 2015-2019.

Photo: UN Women/Ashma Shrestha
(from left) H.E Mr. Pertti Anttinen, Ambassador of Finland to Nepal, and Wenny Kusuma, UN Women Nepal Country Representative. Photo: UN Women

“Gender equality, poverty eradication and the promotion of the rights of women and girls is a long-term priority for Finland. We believe, it is possible to achieve this only by taking into account the promotion of women’s economic empowerment and participation in politics, governance and decision-making structures”, said H.E. Mr. Anttinen. UN Women is one of Finland’s main cooperation partners. In 2017, Finland was the fourth-largest contributor to core resources with USD 11.6 million and the fifth-largest total government contributor to UN Women with USD 18.6 million globally; and indeed, one of the key supporters here in Nepal as well. We are happy to see the results we have achieved so far at the ground. To name a few most recent ones, the entry of several women from the most vulnerable groups into politics, representation in various decision-making structures at the local level such as Vice Chairs and Ward members in the rural municipalities and a significant number being established as entrepreneurs are some progressive indications.

Though Nepal ranks high in terms of women’s labour force participation, economic equality is not yet realised. Prevailing discriminatory social norms and harmful practices limit women’s voice and agency, hindering the possibility to fully exercise their rights to participation, leadership and decision-making in private and public spheres. The election of over 14,000 women to leadership positions in 2017 opens new opportunities to enhance women’s empowerment and gender equality in Nepal.

“Investing in women’s political and economic empowerment is not only a moral imperative but also smart economics for sustainable development,” said Ms. Wenny Kusuma, UN Women Country Representative. “Empowered women and girls are able to challenge discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes, thereby confronting patriarchy to create a just and equal society for all.” In the newly signed agreement, both parties have renewed their long-standing partnership and joint commitment to foster women's leadership and participation in Nepal's new federal structure. The areas of partnership are also the key focus of the UN Women Nepal’s Strategic Note (2018 – 2022), a guiding framework that is implemented in collaboration with the Government of Nepal in support of realising national priorities and international commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

With this partnership, the Government of Finland and UN Women Nepal will be able to: support elected and appointed women representatives; increase women’s representation and leadership in peace and security; strengthen gender responsive development and economic empowerment; implementation and monitoring of laws, policies, plans, budgets, gender statistics; and governance processes and systems. Across all of its work, UN Women Nepal places a strong emphasis on transforming gender discriminatory social norms, eliminating harmful practices and ending gender-based violence, which Finland has echoed its support through this renewal.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Indra Gurung
Special Advisor, Embassy of Finland.
Email: Indra.Gurung@formin.fi | Tel: 01-4417221

Ashma Shrestha
Communication for Development Officer.
Email: ashma.shrestha@unwomen.org | Tel: 01- 4255110