KATHMANDU, Aug 14: Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has said that Nepal has made significant progress on women empowerment and gender equality.
Speaking at an interaction organized in the capital, Gyawali highlighted the achievements made on women empowerment, gender equality, and reproductive rights in the past few years, particularly after the country promulgated the Constitution in 2015.
He was of the view that Nepal’s constitution is progressive, and institutes several elements for the betterment of women in the country.
"Ensuring rights of women as a fundamental right through legislation from the very initial stage under Article 38 is far better than any other constitutions," he said.
The constitution has ensured 40% women's participation at the local levels and 33% at the federal parliament, he said.
The foreign minister stated that Nepal has endorsed several international instruments to preserve women's rights including Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The minister vowed to curb violence against women.
Addressing the event, Vice-chairperson at the UNCEDAW, Bandana Rana stressed the need for drafting a consolidated progress report on women empowerment and gender equality in Nepal.
"Let's prepare a consolidated report to showcase our achievements in women empowerment and gender equality at the global arena. I believe that we can share our best practices in women empowerment, gender equality and reproductive rights to the entire world," she said.
She shared that in 2020, the global community will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
"A five-year milestone will be reached towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 2020 is, therefore, a crucial year for the accelerated realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, everywhere," she said.
The 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women is planned to take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 9 to 20 March 2020, according to Rana.
Lubna Baqi, Country Representative of the UNFPA said that Nepal has made significant progress on reproductive rights. She said that Nepal has played a significant role in advancing the program of action adopted during the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994. "Last year, Nepal submitted an ICPD report. In fact, it is one of the progressive reports," she said.
Wenny Kusuma, the Country Representative, UN Women in Nepal, said that gender inequality around the world needs serious attention.
During the event, Secretary at the Ministry of Women Children and Senior Citizen Chandra Kumar Ghimire, Commissioner at the National Information Commission Yashoda Timsina, Joint Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office Koshal Chandra Subedi, and Member of the National Planning Commission Min Bahadur Shahi also spoke at length on the progress made by Nepal in women empowerment, gender equality, inclusiveness and reproductive rights.
Civil society members, politicians, lawmakers, and bureaucrats attended the program titled 'Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment. 2020 what it means for Nepal' which was organized by Saathi, a Kathmandu-based non-governmental organization.