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
Two UN agencies have deepened their cooperation to boost gender equality and women’s empowerment in Nepal. The inter-agency collaboration will see UN Women and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) work together to promote reform and fight discrimination against women at all levels.
Shanta Lakshmi Shrestha chairs the Beyond Beijing Committee (BBC), a coalition of women's rights and gender-justice organizations working to advance the status of women in Nepal. It was created after the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995. The Committee advocates and monitors the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) from the grassroots to the global level.
Women’s equal access to E-commerce is not only a door of opportunity for women’s economic empowerment, but also research has shown that money in the hands of women is spent on health, education—the family—benefiting the community and economy. It gives women flexibility and enhances their decision-making power in homes. Digital financial solutions also have dramatic impacts on women’s economic and social well-being, especially when women are subject to various mobility restrictions due to gender discriminatory social norms. E-commerce is an accelerator for the achievement of the SDGs as highlighted by previous speakers.
A cross-agency training on gender in communications brought together UN staff from 13 agencies in Nepal last month. The two-day session provided the 25 participants with a range of tools and skills to develop gender-responsive communication materials in their respective lines of work. “There is a need for devising coherent communications plans and strategies that position the United Nations as the torchbearer of incorporating gender in communications,” said Valerie Julliand, UN Resident Coordinator.
Pertti Anttinen is the ambassador of Finland to Nepal, and from July to December 2019 is the designated EU Gender Champion. In December the Government of Finland agreed to continue supporting the implementation of UN Women Nepal’s Country Strategic Note (CSN) for 2018-2022.
Ishani Shrestha, 28, is a social activist and entrepreneur in Nepal. After she was crowned Miss World-Nepal 2013, she founded Project Smile to improve women’s health and children’s education and to end gender discrimination. As a feminist and a Nepali woman, I see the uncountable challenges girls and women face in our country. Some of the major challenges that I want to help ease are the lack of awareness of human rights, the lack of education and access to health care, and the social stereotypes that restrict women from becoming who they want to be.
The two agencies will together support the Government of Nepal in its efforts to boost gender equality and family-friendly policies in the workplace, strengthen women’s leadership, and prevent gender-based violence at work, according to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in Kathmandu on 29 August. “We are stronger when we work together,” said Wenny Kusuma, UN Women Country Representative. “Through this collaboration, UN Women and ILO will work to support the full realization of women’s economic empowerment and advance voice, choice, and security for all.”
Indra Maya Tamang says that for as long as she can remember, her family has farmed the land here in the hills of Nepal. “We have carried on with the practical knowledge that has been passed on to us from generations ago,” she says. But Tamang now also knows this: “Times are changing, the air we breathe is changing, and if we don’t learn new techniques now, we’ll be stuck in the past. One cannot afford to be constant — change is inevitable. That is why we too must keep moving forward.”
“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.