National women’s disaster management conference begins

Kathmandu, December 9

A two-day National Women’s Conference on Disaster Management, Reconstruction and Sustainable Development began in Kathmandu today.

The conference is jointly organised by ASMITA, ActionAid International Nepal and Mahila Adhikar Manch.

Inaugurating the conference, Manu Humagain, acting chairperson of National Women’s Commission said women and children were the hardest hit by the April 25 earthquake. “Thus the conference will draft a policy aimed at ensuring women’s participation in disaster management and reconstruction.”

Radhika Aryal, joint secretary, Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare also stressed on the need for drafting a policy to ensure human rights of women during such disasters.

Bimal Phuyal, national president of ActionAid Nepal, and Lajana Manandhar, vice-chairperson of ActionAid executive committee said effectiveness of reconstruction post-disaster would depend solely on the hard work of the Nepali people. They also assured of full support from the ActionAid to the reconstruction project.

Women rights activists Rita Thapa said national stakeholders now must focus on response to humanitarian crisis facing the country. “We have already talked much about the disaster.

Now it’s time to focus on response to the humanitarian crisis facing the country as a result of the blockade at border checkpoints.”

During the programme, speakers such as Pushpa KC of Mahila Adhikar Manch and Indu Tuladhar of ASMITA said the conference will draw some conclusion on the role of women in the aftermath of the disaster. Research papers based on natural disaster and its impact on women were discussed during the conference today.

More than 100 participants from 30 districts and three districts in the Kathmandu Valley participated in the conference.

The conference will end tomorrow by issuing Kathmandu declaration, recommending the government to government to draft women-friendly policy in disaster management, reconstruction and sustainable development.

Live performance, art exhibition, book exhibition and display of relevant booklets were the major attractions of the conference today.