NEPAL: Strengthen Women for Prosperity, Says Norwegian Minister

Saturday, October 9, 2010
The Himalayan Times
Southern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security
Peace Processes

Norwegian Deputy Minister for International Cooperation and Environment, Ingrid Fiskaa, underscored that for more women's representation, even if it is challenging for women to come to politics, in the peace and other political processes is a must for the country's prosperity.

Fiskaa, who had visited Nepal from October 4 to October 6 to support Nepal's National Action Plan for the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and 1820 on women peace and security, while talking to The Himalayan Times stressed for gender equality to carry out development work effectively and for the peace process as well.

“In Nepal, like other countries in the world, there is a strong need of more women in possession of power. Women must be given equal space in policy-making level as well as in the parliament. In addition, those women, who are already there in the parliament should not be seen as women representatives only, but considered equally important component with the potential to deliver on a par with men,” said Fiskaa.

Talking abut the UN resolution 1325 and 1820, the Norwegian deputy minister said implementation part should be strong. “What really is needed is change on the ground. It has been seen that even after passing the resolution, women are still excluded form the peace process and political process in general,” said Fiskaa.

She expressed happiness that Nepal had done good groundwork for the endorsement UNSCR resolution. “It is wonderful that Nepal is going to have its own National Action Plan. It will be the first country in South Asia to pass the UNSCR 1325 and 1820.”

“Nepal is a good example to have included women in the parliament, but there are still some challenges when you look at the local levels and how the peace process is managed,” added Fiskaa.

Asked about her assessment of the peace process as a whole, she said Nepal was not only the country to face challenges in the peace process. “Peace process in the world has to pass through the same transition with difficulties,” said Fiskaa. “Still some challenges are ahead but the four-point agreement between the government and the Maoists is a positive sign and that is something for the peace process to build onto,” added Fiscaa.

She said being a woman politician was a tough job even in European context. “In our country too, there is a tendency to look upon women lowly. Women who are in the parliament are regarded only women parliamentarians in many instances,” she said. “If you are a woman and a politician, you always have to prove that you are little bit better and work little bit more to be acknowledged.”

Fiskaa stressed on the need for equal opportunity for women in economic sector.

Sharing Norwegian experience, she said equal distribution of wealth among men and women had helped them to be economically independent. “When you do not exclude half of the population from the power, then you have further prosperity” Fiskaa concluded.