Nepal | January 23, 2021

‘Needs of women often overlooked in crisis’

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, April 1

The ‘Dignity First’ campaign launched by the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare and United Nations Population Fund after the devastating earthquakes last year continues in the quake-affected districts.

The Department of Women and Children partnered with UNFPA to distribute kits containing clothes, sanitary items, and torch lights to women and girls in the quake-affected districts, said Bijaya Kumari Prasain, who leads the National Protection Cluster at the department.

The Women and Children Office this week distributed dignity kits to women and girls, mainly pregnant and lactating mothers, who survived the March 3 fire that engulfed 36 houses in Mainar of Kapilvastu district, said Prasain.

When women and girls experience traumatic events such as the last earthquake, the recent fire in Dang or during normal circumstances, they need support to maintain their personal hygiene and safety.

“We have found that the basic needs of women such as security and hygiene are often overlooked during emergency situations. The ‘Dignity First’ campaign was a call to respect and honor the needs of women and girls,” said Giulia Vallese, UNFPA representative to Nepal.

“Female-friendly spaces and maternity units were set up, reproductive health mobile camps were held in the earthquake affected districts, to cater to adolescents, pregnant women and post-partum mothers,” she added.

Even under normal circumstances, women and girls face a special set of risks and challenges that need special attention and this is the reason why this campaign has gone beyond the earthquake response, the DWC director said.

In the far-west, adolescent girls are advocating for the campaign, calling for the need to protect the dignity of vulnerable women and girls and to empower them so that they could play a role in rebuilding their lives and communities.

“Our district has high rates of child marriage and gender-based violence. Child marriage robs girls of their dignity and puts them at risk of early and unwanted pregnancies, posing life-threatening consequences. Gender-based violence also undermines women’s right to dignity,” said 18-year-old Bimala Joshi of Majhigaun-7, Bajhang, who was recently in Kathmandu to take part in the “Girl Summit”.

The 12th grader and a peer educator said her friends also keep telling local leaders and community people that special needs of women and girls should not be forgotten in times of crisis and during normal circumstances.

According to Joshi, members of adolescent girls’ circles in her VDC liaise with the WCO Bajhang and the UNFPA field office to advocate for the campaign.

Apart from the advocacy at the national level the campaign is under way in several districts that we support across the country, integrating reproductive health and protection needs of women and girls into one thread,” said the UNFPA representative.

It’s encouraging to see young people advocating for the campaign and campaigning for women’s and girls’ right to dignity and well-being in districts like Bajhang, Baitadi, Dang, Sunsari, Rautahat and Sindhuli, she said.


A version of this article appears in print on April 11, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Fauci credits Biden for letting 'the science speak' as new administration puts focus on virus

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden unveiled sweeping measures to battle COVID-19 on his first full day in office on Thursday, with his chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, praising his new boss’ willingness to “let the science speak” in contrast to the Trump administration. Biden said he Read More...

US Ambassador Berry met with PM Oli to discuss Biden priorities  

KATHMANDU: US Ambassador to Nepal Randy Berry met with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to discuss President Biden’s top priorities, on Thursday evening. Issuing a press release, the US Embassy in Nepal stated, Ambassador Berry noted that the Biden administration wants to partner with Nepal and Read More...

Seven more fatalities take Nepal's Covid-19 death toll close to 2000 on Friday

KATHMANDU: Nepal's coronavirus death-toll has advanced to 1,986 with seven more fatalities reported on Friday. Globally, 2.1 million people have lost their lives to Covid-19 while more than 98 million people have been infected by the disease. Today, 302 new coronavirus cases surfaced after whi Read More...

Three cricketers leave for UAE to play T-10 League

KATHMANDU: Former captain of the men's National Cricket Team Paras Khadka along with Kushal Malla and Karan KC have left for UAE to play in the T-10 League Cricket Championship, on Thursday evening. The cricket championship is taking place from January 28 to February 6. Khadka would take on th Read More...

In Pictures: Thousands rally forth in mass protest in Kathmandu

Kathmandu, January 22 Large mass rallies were taken out today by the Dahal-Nepal faction of ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) in Kathmandu Valley. See in the pictures are protesters in thousands walking the roads of the capital city to meet at a mass gathering. Also participating in the demon Read More...

302 new cases take nationwide Covid-19 tally to 268,948

KATHMANDU: Nepal on Friday reported 302 new cases of coronavirus infection from across the country. With this, the nationwide infection count has advanced to 268,948. Of the total cases, 133 are females while 169 are males. In the last 24 hours, 112 cases surfaced in Kathmandu valley. The capi Read More...

Kathmandu valley logs 112 coronavirus infections Friday

KATHMANDU: On Friday, 112 individuals --53 women, 59 men --  were reported to have contracted the coronavirus infection in the Kathmandu valley. 90 of the 112 infections surfaced in Kathmandu while 13 and nine cases were detected in Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, respectively. According to the data Read More...

McConnell seeks to push Trump impeachment trial to February

WASHINGTON: Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is proposing to push back the start of Donald Trump's impeachment trial to February to give the former president time to prepare and review his case. House Democrats who voted to impeach Trump last week for inciting the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol ri Read More...