Gender Focal Points fail to deliver

Kathmandu, May 11:

Despite their existence in all the ministries, commissions and secretariats, Gender Focal Points have not been able to effectively incorporate gender issues in plans and polices of their respective ministries, mainly due to lack of funds and work pressure.

Apart from working for inclusion of gender issues in their programmes, members of the GFPs have also to perform their regular duties.

Krishna Prasad Dhungel, planning section chief of the Planning and Monitoring Section under the Ministry of Land Reforms, said the ministry has introduced programmes for the uplift of women in land reforms sector.

“Many training programmes have been conducted for women to facilitate their representation,” said Dhungel. No mechanism has been developed to share experiences between preceding and succeeding GFPs, he said.

Prabha Panday, section officer at the general administration, said, “Members of GFPs must look after their regular responsibilities and also provide suggestions to their organisations on gender issues.”

With limited resources and materials, we are ill-equipped to deliver services as GFPs, she said.

Surendra Kumar Subedi, senior agriculture economist, Gender Equity and Environment Division of the Agriculture Ministry, said, “The GFP has not been able to influence programmes of the Ministry.”

Shyam Sundar Sharma, spokesperson for the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, said a GFP should be involved in the internal decision-making process and be included in task forces formed to execute programmes and draft policies of the concerned ministry. “The GFPs’ views should be considered while formulating policies and budget should be allocated to each GFP so that they can develop their own programmes.”