Kathmandu, December 21
The Government of Finland and UN Women have signed an agreement to collaborate and support the implementation of the Government of Nepal’s national priorities and commitments on enhancing women’s economic empowerment and political participation and to advance the mission towards poverty eradication in Nepal.
The agreement, worth four million euros (approximately Rs 514 million), covering a period of four years (2018-2022), was signed by Pertti Anttinen, ambassador of Finland to Nepal, and Maria-Noel Vaeza Vaque, director, Programme Division, UN Women.
“Gender equality, poverty eradication and the promotion of rights of women and girls is a long-term priority for Finland. We believe, it is possible to achieve this only by taking into account the promotion of women’s economic empowerment and participation in politics, governance and decision-making structures”, said Anttinen. UN Women is one of Finland’s main cooperation partners.
Though Nepal ranks high in terms of women’s labour force participation, economic equality is not yet realised. Prevailing discriminatory social norms and harmful practices limit women’s voice and agency, hindering the possibility to fully exercise their rights to participation, leadership and decision-making in private and public spheres.
The election of over 14,000 women to leadership positions in 2017 has opened new opportunities to enhance women’s empowerment and gender equality in Nepal, stated a joint press release issued by the Embassy of Finland and UN Women today.
“Investing in women’s political and economic empowerment is not only a moral imperative but also smart economics for sustainable development,” said Wenny Kusuma, UN Women Country Representative.
“Empowered women and girls are able to challenge discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes, thereby confronting patriarchy to create a just and equal society for all,” she added.
In the newly signed agreement, both parties have renewed their long-standing partnership and joint commitment to fostering women’s leadership and participation in Nepal’s new federal structure. The areas of partnership are also the key focus of the UN Women Nepal’s Strategic Note (2018-2022), a guiding framework that is implemented in collaboration with the Government of Nepal for women’s empowerment.
A version of this article appears in print on December 22, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.