UN Women, ILO tighten collaboration in Nepal
Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Author: Anam Abbas
Kathmandu, Nepal — UN Women and the International Labour Organization are to collaborate more closely to promote women’s empowerment in the workplace in Nepal. 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 letter of collaboration 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.”
ILO Country Director Richard Howard said addressing the challenges faced by women at work required the revision of some social norms as well as “promoting women’s leadership in enterprises and trade unions and creating family-friendly workplace policies.”
“At the same time, we must take steps to reduce the unequal burden on women in the household so that they can fully participate in the labour market and further contribute to the dynamic growth of the country.”
The agreement ensures support for Nepal during the rest of the 2018-2022 UN Development Assistance Framework and is in line with a global-level MoU between the agencies signed in Geneva in 2011.
The focus of the joint efforts will be on the following areas: reducing gender gaps in the labour market; reducing gender pay gaps and occupational segregation; preventing gender-based violence at work (including sexual harassment); promoting family-friendly policies in the workplace; ensuring social protection is gender-responsive; supporting safe and orderly labour migration; strengthening women’s leadership and voice in trade unions and in tripartite institutions; and strengthening the evidence base regarding employment, social protection, rights at work, and regarding the reduction and redistribution of unpaid care work.
In recent years, Nepal has taken significant steps towards advancing women’s economic empowerment. However, implementation of the often-progressive legal provisions remains a challenge due to gender-discriminatory social norms and harmful practices. This collaboration will help steer the direction of joint efforts towards the implementation of both international norms and national legislation.