Women’s empowerment only path to justice, peace, progress: Prez Bhandari


President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has stressed that achieving women’s empowerment and gender equality was the only path to justice, peace, and progress.

Addressing ‘High-level Meeting on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women’ last night, she said despite the steady progress achieved in twelve critical areas of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, gaps and challenges persisted in the full realisation of women’s rights. She expressed concerns on the existing structural inequalities, further aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and called for timely medical care, equal access to vaccines and robust recovery plans to address the economic and social needs of women and girls.

While highlighting Nepal’s major achievements on women’s empowerment, she stated that the gender agenda had been mainstreamed as an integral part of national development. “We have strengthened law enforcement and implemented targeted interventions to end gender-based violence and discrimination. Free air-evacuation services have been provided to save the lives of the women from the remotest part of the country suffering from pregnancy and maternity-related complications. At present, women occupy 41 percent of elected offices in the federal, provincial and local governments and over 24 per cent in civil service. Total 83 per cent of women in Nepal are in the labour force,” she said. “These achievements are attained through long struggle and persistent constructive efforts. We can achieve the objectives of the Beijing Declaration by removing gender stereotypes, rectifying long-standing inequalities and matching our commitments with action at national, regional and international levels. The movement of women’s empowerment must continue till we achieve full and substantive equality. We remain committed to eliminating remnants of discrimination,” she added.

President Bhandari also underlined the need to match commitments with action at national, regional and international levels.

The meeting was held under the theme ‘Accelerating the Realisation of Gender Equality and Empowerment of all Women and Girls’ on the margins of the 75th Session of UN General Assembly.

As many as 175 leaders including 42 heads of state/government, five vice-presidents, and 111 ministers spoke on the occasion.