NEPAL: Women Empowerment Nepal's top Development Agenda

Thursday, October 18, 2012
The Himalayan Times
Southern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

“Following the political change of 2006, concrete steps have been taken to empower women and increase the proportion of their involvement at all levels of decision-making,” said Adhikari while addressing the Third Committee of the sixty-seventh session of the UN General Assembly on Agenda item 28 Advancement of Women on Wednesday.

“Several important policies and strategies have been put in place and legislations enacted with a view to empowering women, advancing gender equality and prohibiting violence and discrimination against women.”

Saying that the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007 has for the first time in the history envisaged equal rights to women without discrimination, Adhikari informed that the directive principles and policies of the State as enshrined in the Constitution have explicitly underscored women's participation on the basis of proportionate inclusion which provides for special measures for education, health care and employment for women and the girl child. Gender equality and social inclusion policy, 2010 is being implemented to ensure gender mainstreaming and elimination of discrimination in all aspects of life.

Nepal has made gender–based violence punishable by law, and since 2010 instituted a fund towards controlling gender-based violence more effectively. The Domestic Violence (Crime and Punishment) Act, 2009 and Domestic Violence Regulation, 2010 form the basis for curbing violence against women, stated Adhikari.

“A high level monitoring mechanism in this regard has also been in place. Nepal has been successfully implementing a national plan of action for UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and 1820.”

“Nepal has recently brought out a five-year National Strategy and Plan of Action to end gender-based violence and ensuring empowerment.”

Adhikari further opined that Nepal is committed to the full and effective implementation of the various international instruments on gender equality and women empowerment, particularly the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly.

“At the regional level, Nepal has ratified the SAARC Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution, 2002. Necessary enabling legislations and the subsequent action plan are in place to implement the convention.”

While saying that there is a growing concern for the safety of women in some cases in foreign employment, which we are making efforts to deal with, Adhikari said that there should be coordinated and concerted efforts at the national, regional and international levels to combat violence against women migrant workers and to protect their rights.