Govt committed to empowering women, says DPM Nidhi

Kathmandu, November 28

A three-day programme ‘South Asia Peer Learning Regional Consultation on Disaster Preparedness’ for Effective Response for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment’ kicked off in the capital today.

The regional consultation was organised by the Ministry of Women, Children, and Social Welfare, the UNDP, and UN Women.

Inaugurating the programme, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi expressed commitment to implement the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development, which reaffirms the urgent need to reduce disaster risks and achieving gender equality and women empowerment.

He said, “We must transform unequal power relations between women and men, and address the structural barriers impeding progress,” adding, “We have already initiated localising SDG agendas in action in Nepal through the leadership of various thematic/sectoral ministries, with the support of development partners and the UN System.”

Stating that the new constitution has ensured women rights at all levels, he expressed the government’s commitment to increasing women’s representation, and ensuring leadership at all levels in the forthcoming disaster management plan.

“The second Emergency Response Preparedness Plan developed by the government includes for the first time a Gender Equality Resource Guide developed by the Inter Cluster Gender Working Group Co-chaired by UN Women and UN OCHA,” he said.

He also sought the need to harness the potential of women and girls for sustainable development.

Speaking at the programme, UN Resident Coordinator Valerie Julliand said that women have a more critical role in rebuilding families and communities than men.

She stressed the need to increase participation of women at all levels of disaster management to mitigate the impacts of disasters.

“We have the right policies; the constitution gives equal rights to women, and there are lessons to be learned from past experiences of disasters. It is now time to make necessary progress,” she added.

Charge d’Affaires at the Danish Embassy Ingrid Dahl-Madsen said, “We need to recognise women as vital agents of change. Women’s participation in disaster management will have a positive impact in individual life and community as well.”

“Let us ensure that women are placed at the centre when it comes to disaster preparedness,” she stressed.

There were participants from eight South Asian countries in the programme. They will be discussing women’s role in disaster preparedness for effective response, gender equality, women empowerment, and other issues.