Govt, JICA ink deal on rural women

Kathmandu, February 11:

The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed an agreement on February 6 to start a one-year pilot programme on ‘Women Entrepreneurship Development’ in Bhaktapur. The project will target 628 rural women of nine VDCs in Bhaktapur.

The Women’s Development Office, Bhaktapur, will implement the programme among its 274 women groups who are already running eight co-operatives and boast 2,741 members.

The project is the implementation of the proposal put forward by Jeewa Nath Pokharel, section officer at the MoWCSW. Pokharel’s proposal had won the competition titled ‘Women Entrepreneurship Development’ in Japan in 2005. Pokharel, along with nine other participants from seven countries, had participated in a training programme at Tokyo International Cooperation, Japan, held between February and March 2005. The participants had submitted their proposals at the end of the programme.

Pokharel said that the JICA was executing the proposal to increase rural women’s participation through economic empowerment. JICA has allocated $20,000 for the project.

As part of the project, tentative feasibility studies would be carried out in vegetable farming, floriculture, service oriented business, poultry and livestock development, food processing, daily consumption goods and handicrafts and paper crafts, he added.

He said the project would also provide training to target women groups to raise family income, and assist poverty reduction national policy by creating jobs.

Shyam Sundar Sharma, spokesperson of MoWCSW said, the project would empower rural women and uplift their status . Similar projects will be replicated in other parts of country.

Bangladesh, Haiti, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Nepal had participated in the training in Japan.