UN Women and UNDP deepen cooperation over women’s rights in Nepal

Date: Friday, October 11, 2019

Ayshanie Medagangoda-Labé, Resident Representative of UNDP and Gitanjali Singh, Officer in Charge (OiC), UN Women Nepal signed an inter-agency agreement to collaborate on advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in Nepal, in presence of Valerie Julliand, UN Resident Coordinator in Nepal. Photo: UNRCO/Simrika Sharma
Ayshanie Medagangoda-Labé, Resident Representative of UNDP and Gitanjali Singh, Officer in Charge (OiC), UN Women Nepal signed an inter-agency agreement to collaborate on advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in Nepal, in presence of Valerie Julliand, UN Resident Coordinator in Nepal. Photo: UNRCO/Simrika Sharma

Kathmandu, Nepal — 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.

“I look forward to supporting both the agencies on policy reforms, addressing gender-based violence and ensuring women's participation in decision making,” said Valerie Julliand, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Nepal.

Nepal has a long history of progressive legislation, with several legal, policy and programmatic interventions for gender equality and women’s empowerment in place.

However, deeply embedded patriarchal norms, customary practices and common beliefs continue to affect women’s health, livelihoods, life, dignity and personal integrity in Nepal. This has in turn held back Nepal’s human development in terms of gender, inequality and social and geographical exclusion.

Through the agreement, the two agencies committed to advancing the security, choice and voice of women and girls in Nepal. This consists of: the security to lead lives free of violence; the choice to build their futures from the full range of human capabilities, and the voice to exercise their presence and make themselves heard in all spheres of life.

Partnerships such as the one between UN Women and UNDP are “critical for transformative change,” said Gitanjali Singh, officer in charge for UN Women.

This interagency agreement is in line with the global memorandum of understanding signed by UN Women and UNDP in New York on July 2018. It draws on the areas of agreement from the six focus areas of the common chapter from the UN agencies’ strategic plans for 2018-2021.

“This is our way of taking the common chapter forward, both our agency teams will expand our cooperation, we will accelerate and scale up things that we had been doing already for gender equality and women’s empowerment,” said UNDP Resident Representative Ayshanie Medagangoda-Labé.

The collaboration covers the following areas to support the Government of Nepal, in line with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework 2018-2022:

  • Strengthening legal and policy reforms to advance gender equality
  • Advancing inclusive and gender-responsive governance, human rights and access to justice including support to provincial and local governments
  • Transforming gender discriminatory norms and eliminating harmful practices
  • Gender-based violence prevention and response
  • Fostering voice, agency and engagement of civil society through support to broadened civic space, particularly guaranteeing space for youth from vulnerable communities including persons with disabilities and sexual minorities
  • Ensuring women's political participation, representation and leadership, including in elections and across the three levels of government
  • Advancing women’s leadership in peacekeeping and conflict prevention including the implementation of National Action Plan II on UNSCR 1320 and 1820
  • Strengthening gender equality and social inclusion during crises and post-crisis responses, as well as early recovery
  • Mobilizing the private sector to advance gender equality
  • Accelerating women’s economic empowerment
  • Strengthening the evidence base for implementation and monitoring of the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the Agenda 2030
  • Experimenting, innovating and scaling up for the acceleration of SDG 5, 10, 11 and 16 with the UNDP Accelerator Lab