Nepal | January 23, 2021

Nepal’s post-quake recovery should boost women: UN

REUTERS
Share Now:
Mundrika Devi Gurung, a mother of five children sheds tears after the devestation in her house, who had lost her husband in the landslide last year says they have nothing left now and help is no where near in Pantang, Sindhupalchok on Tuesday. PHOTO: SKANDA GAUTAM/THT

Mundrika Devi Gurung, a mother of five children sheds tears after the devestation in her house, who had lost her husband in the landslide last year says they have nothing left now and help is no where near in Pantang, Sindhupalchok on Tuesday. PHOTO: SKANDA GAUTAM/THT

LONDON, June 26: Post-quake recovery in Nepal should be an opportunity to change patriarchal attitudes and stop women being pushed to the margins of society, a UN organisation promoting women’s equality has said.

Two quakes, on April 25 and May 12, killed 8,832 people, injured more than 22,000 and forced tens of thousands into temporary shelters. The government has estimated the cost of recovery at more than $6.6 billion. The quakes destroyed more than 500,000 houses and pushed 700,000 additional people into poverty. Already one in four of the 28 million Nepalis lives on less than $1.25 a day and patriarchal attitudes weigh heavily on women.

“Single women are the poorest of the poor and are the most affected,” Cecilia Aipira, an expert with UN Women who contributed to the Nepal government’s Post Disaster Risk Assessment report, said yesterday.

“They are the ones that need support the most, but because of gender inequality they’re the ones most likely to be excluded or marginalised through recovery programmes,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from Fiji.

Aipira said that if housing reconstruction programmes were based purely on documented ownership, 80 percent of women would be excluded, meaning they would be ‘punished twice’ by the disaster, losing their homes and unable to own rebuilt ones.

Nepal says that about 26 per cent of houses damaged by the quakes belonged to households headed by women, who will find it hard to rebuild their livelihoods because of limits on opportunities, on ownership and on access to economic resources.

“They have a double disaster in the sense that they can’t rebuild because they’re completely excluded from the legal ownership of the house and the land,” Aipira said. Nepal’s Interim Constitution states that men and women should have equal rights to their ancestral property, but women are still being marginalised ‘at every stage’ by traditional patriarchal attitudes, Aipira said.

There’s a need to create awareness that women can actually own land and housing, a right that has been submerged by patriarchal attitudes to such ownership, she said. “It will be women who will rebuild Nepal and that’s part of the reason why we’re asking for specific measures that address the inequalities that women face,” she said.

Aipira said that to ensure that women are not excluded from reconstruction programmes, projects should be based on individual cases rather than male assumptions of ownership. Women in Nepal own just 19.17 per cent of houses and land, according to government figures.

India and China pledged nearly $1.5 billion in aid for earthquake reconstruction in Nepal yesterday at an international donors’ conference in Kathmandu. In total, Nepal received pledges of $4.4 billion in aid at the conference, two-thirds of the amount needed for reconstruction over five years.

Fast facts
•    Two quakes, on April 25 and May 12, killed more than 8,800 people, injured more than 22,000
•    The quakes forced tens of thousands into temporary shelters
•    The quakes destroyed more than 500,000 houses and pushed 700,000 additional people into poverty
•    Already one in four of the 28 million Nepalis live on less than $1.25 a day and patriarchal attitudes weigh heavily on women
•    Women in Nepal own just 19.17 per cent of houses and land
•    The government has estimated the cost of recovery at more than $6.6 billion


A version of this article appears in print on June 27, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Poor leadership to blame for surge in crime: Odd

DHANGADI, JANUARY 21 Nepali Congress Dhangadi Municipal Committee President Nripa Bahadur Odd said that crime had increased after communists offered garlands to criminal-minded people. Addressing a protest assembly in Dhangadi today, Odd said communists had protected rapists, thieves, murderer Read More...

James Bond movie 'No Time to Die' delayed again amid pandemic

LOS ANGELES: The global release of the James Bond movie "No Time to Die" was postponed to October from April, its producers said on Thursday, another setback for movie theaters trying to rebuild a business crushed by the coronavirus pandemic. The movie's new debut date is Oct. 8, accordin Read More...

Dahal-Nepal demonstrations disrupt traffic in the capital

KATHMANDU: Demonstrations being carried out today by Dahal-Nepal faction of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) have disrupted traffic in Kathmandu. The splinter group of ruling NCP has taken out rallies from multiple places today giving continuance to its protests against Prime Minister KP Sharma Ol Read More...

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...