Kathmandu,13 March 2015: Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare, Neelam KC, has said Nepal has made significant progress in the realization of all economic, social and cultural, civil and political rights for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in the last two decade.
While addressing the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women on Agenda Item 3 entitled ‘Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-first Century’, in New York on Wednesday, Minister KC saidÂ the Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2007 has envisioned the fundamental values of human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment. It has also embodied womenâ€™s rights as a fundamental citizenâ€™s rights. Similarly, in line with proportionate, inclusive policy, affirmative policies have been introduced to ensure women’s participation in all levels of the State mechanism.
She also informed the international community that the current three-year periodic plan (2014-2016) aims to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women. For the affected and the survivors of gender based violence, one stop crisis management centers, rehabilitation homes, service centers have been established and while some operative in different parts of the country.
Similarly, the Minister said the provision that 35 percent of the total grant provided from the centre to local bodies for the betterment of children, women and marginalized, has resulted in women’s increasing capability in developing and implementing plans and programs that directly fulfill the practical and strategic needs of women and girls. The current Constituent Assembly, which is also a legislature – parliament, has 30 percent women’s participation.
According to her, Nepal has made significant achievement in obtaining gender parity at primary level education and child and maternal health due to improvement in women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Nearly 20 percent women have gained access and ownership on land. Gender responsive budget system in national budgeting has started since 2007, and allocation of 22 percent of the national budget as direct gender responsive budget is noted progress in this area.
Despite tremendous progress in gender equality and women’s empowerment, some significant challenges are persistent sexual and domestic violence against women and girls, socio-cultural harmful practices and patriarchal values, security of migrant women, said Minister KC.
She shared the government’s belief that women’s economic, social, sexual and reproductive health and rights, their right to independent identity, are keys to the effective implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action.
“Nepal Government supports the call for a standalone goal on gender equality, human rights, and women’s and girls’ empowerment in the Post 2015 Development Agenda and also mainstreaming of gender equality and human rights perspectives in all other goals through specific indicators and targets for transformative, sustainable development and peace,” she addressed.