Concerns of Nepali women to be presented at international stageA report that includes questions and suggestions regarding problems faced by women across the country, which will be presented at the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, was launched on Friday.
A report that includes questions and suggestions regarding problems faced by women across the country, which will be presented at the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, was launched on Friday.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health and Population Upendra Yadav and Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizen Tham Maya Thapa jointly launched the report amid a function organised by
Beyond Beijing Committee (BBC) and Right Here Right Now in the Valley.
“Questions raised by women across the country have been accumulated in the report, and our country
representatives will be presenting the questions to the world,” Shanta Laxmi Shrestha, chairperson of the Beijing committee, told the Post. The committee had conducted a one-day consultation programme in seven different provinces and collected the questions of the voiceless to get represented on an international stage.
“There have been many major achievements in the country for women. The government’s recent plan for the unemployed has also set an example in the field of social protection. But there are still many problems in the grass-root level, and all that has been stated in the report,” said Shrestha.
Meanwhile, non-government organisations have requested the government to pay more attention to women empowerment and take steps to end all traditional practices, such as chhaupadi and dowry.
“The government is the main body that ends all ill practices across the country. Organisations can try to create awareness to end the practices but the government needs to play a more important role. Only it can make laws and implement them to end such practices,” said Ram Prasad Subedi, secretary general of the NGO Federation of Nepal.
“The ill practices are still prevalent because they are deeply rooted in our social customs and traditions. We have laws but its implementation has not been successful. We are however trying to end these practices and problems in the community,” said Minister Thapa.
Minister Thapa is one of the representatives from the country to the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women being organised in New York from March 11 to 23.
“The international stage will be presented with the problems and necessary suggestions regarding gender equality and women empowerment,” said Thapa.
The government has extended its solidarity to eradicate all ill practices from the grassroots. “Voices demanding women empowerment and equality has been present in Nepal for a long time, and the government too has been supporting it. But in a country like Nepal, it will take time to ensure gender equality in every family and community,” said Minister Yadav.
Customs trump law on issue of gender equality
Women’s rights activists and leaders have pointed out that women across the country are still facing various gender-related problems despite the promulgation of strict laws for their protection.
The existing law has made ill practices such as chhaupadi, dowry and witchcrafts illegal, but the poor implementation of these laws have made women vulnerable to violence and discriminations, said activists.
“Our country has strict laws for the protection of women’s rights, but the lack of implementation of these laws means women still have to suffer,” said Ram Prasad Subedi, secretary general at the NGO Federation of Nepal.
Even the high-level government officials have admitted that the lack of implementation of these laws has supported the prevalence of ill-practices against women.
Speaking at the launching event of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) report, Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizen Tham Maya Thapa said that the existing social norms and traditions have been a major obstacle in ending problems related to women.
The report, however, was not revealed citing that it is to be first made public in the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women. The event will start from March 11 to 23 in New York. “People have started to voice the need for women empowerment and equality in Nepal, and the government has also been supporting it. It will take time to ensure gender equality in every family and community,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health and Population Upendra Yadav.
The government vows to implement the laws strictly and end discrimination against women.
“We have made laws for the protection of women and we are implementing it as well, but there are many obstacles. We will continue our work to end gender related ill-practices,” said Thapa.
“We will also be looking for some suggestion from the world when we present the report.”
Beyond Beijing Committee, an organisation advocating for women empowerment, had conducted consultation programmes in all seven provinces and collected information on women’s problems, which they have compiled in the CEDAW report.
“Problems of women across the country have been compiled in the report which will be presented in the 63rd session by our country representatives. We are hoping for some stern steps by our government to end gender-based discriminations,” said Shanta Laxmi Shrestha, chairperson of Beyond Beijing Committee. (PR)