Call for gender-friendly programmesWomen from 14 earthquake-hit districts have demanded the government to ensure that no women are left out in the post-quake reconstruction project.
Women from 14 earthquake-hit districts have demanded the government to ensure that no women are left out in the post-quake reconstruction project.
A two-day discussion on post-earthquake reconstruction project concluded in Kathmandu on Wednesday, issuing a 15-point declaration that calls for, among others, a gender-responsive reconstruction approach, programmes to help the quake-affected women earn their living, special package for women with disabilities and those from the marginalised community, and 50 percent women representation in the National Reconstruction Authority.
Many women who were affected by the earthquake of April last year have still not got the identity cards from the government, making them ineligible for receiving government relief.
“I am a single woman and an earthquake victim. I have not received any relief from the government till date,” said Krishna Kumari Bhattarai of Gorkha. Bhattarai, who spent a month in hospital after being injured in the earthquake, is not yet in government’s earthquake victims’ list. She used to earn her living raising cattle before the earthquake and wishes to return to her old ways.
“I have had enough of living of the offerings and charity of others. I want to be able to live on my own, like I used to before the earthquake. The government should make sure that women like me are not excluded,” Bhattarai said.
Most of the women from the earthquake-affected districts share Bhattarai’s concern—the government has not recognised them as earthquake victims, though the reasons may be varied. Some women could not get the earthquake victim’s identity cards because they do not have citizenship certificates, others could not receive the government’s relief because the property documents they have are under the names of their husbands who are working abroad and so on.
These women shared their stories before Home Minister Shakti Bahadur Basnet on Wednesday. After hearing them, Basnet assured that the reconstruction project will give due importance to women and other vulnerable groups.
“The reconstruction project was conceived to help the quake victims, so the government will incorporate the concerns of everyone who have been affected, including women,” Basnet said.