Kathmandu, December 8
The government has drafted National Gender Equality Policy-2019, to institutionalise gender responsive governance system in its three tiers, make annual budget gender-friendly and establish equitable, prosperous and justifiable society.
The policy is in line with the constitution. Article 38 of the constitution states that every woman shall have equal lineage rights without gender based discrimination and no woman shall be subjected to physical, mental, sexual, psychological or other forms of violence or exploitation on grounds of religion, social, cultural tradition, practice or on any other grounds. Women have the right to participate in all bodies of the state on the basis of the principle of proportional inclusion, and obtain special opportunities in education, health, employment and social security, on the basis of positive discrimination.
It was necessary to develop the policy as Nepal is also a party to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women adopted in 1979, by the United Nations General Assembly. The vision of the policy is ‘building nation with gender equality’ and it has set the goal of achieving gender equality by 2030, through economic and social empowerment of women.
The policy has the objectives to remove discriminatory barrier to socioeconomic development of women, children and adolescent girls; end gender-based violence; adopt gender responsive governance system; and achieve economic empowerment of women.
In order to carry out these objectives, the government will implement the fundamental rights of women and relevant laws in an effective manner; conduct social awareness programmes; bring about consistency among the federal, provincial and local laws; develop gender-friendly family and society; strongly enforce the policy of zero tolerance against gender-based violence; adopt gender responsive policy while making policies, plans and laws; empower women to ensure their access to all bodies of the state; increase the participation of women in income-generating activities; reduce business and social risk in economic activities of women and ensure their equal representation in decision level.
The proposed policy also said orientation programmes would be conducted for the stakeholders to make them realise the need for special law related to gender equality. “Community organisations and local groups will be mobilised to end all forms of discrimination and violence against women besides implementing polices and programmes for gender equality and proportional inclusion,” it read.
Special provision will be made to ensure equal opportunity for marginalised, minority and rural women in all areas. “Gender equality will be promoted from elementary school level by incorporating this subject into the curricula.
Existing laws will be strongly enforced to end sexual harassment at workplace and public places,” the policy stated. It also stated that Women and Children Service Centre of Nepal Police will be further strengthened to discourage violence against women and children through legal remedy.
The policy mentioned of a provision for establishment and operation of protection and rehabilitation houses for women and children affected by violence, while making them aware of negative impacts of cybercrime. It has treated chhaupadi practice as gender-based violence as many women and girls are still prohibited from participating in normal family activities during menstruating.
“More women will be engaged for the development of national economy and economic surveys will be conducted to realise their contribution for the nation’s prosperity. For this, exclusive skill development programmes will be conducted for women. Women entrepreneurship fund will be promoted and mobilised,” the policy read.
It also mentioned that a profile of women economists would be prepared to encourage them to play leading role in creating more employment opportunities for women.
The policy has provisioned a 14-member Gender Quality National Steering Committee led by the minister of Women, Children and Senior Citizen for its effective implementation.
A version of this article appears in print on December 09, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.