Report hails progress on gender equality

Kathmandu, December 15

Anup Raj Sharma, chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission today released the report entitled Progress of Women in Nepal, 1995-2015; Equality: non-negotiable.

The report, authored by a team of competent researchers led by Meena Acharya has been the outcome of collaborative efforts by Nepalese women’s civil society organisations such as SAHAVAGI, DidiBahini and Feminist Dalit Organisations and supported by UN Women Nepal.

The report analyses the progress and gaps in the implementation of the gender equality agenda in Nepal, establishing an evidence-based, updated record of the situation of women in Nepal between 1995 and 2015.

Focusing on examining three particular areas violence against women and women’s human rights, resources and capabilities, and voice, agency and leadership the report shows that there has been some notable progress towards gender equality and the empowerment of women over the period covered by the report.

According to the report, Nepal’s constitutional and legislative frameworks have become more gender-friendly. Affirmative action laws and policies have improved women’s voice and agency in politics and governance.

Gender has received increased attention in government development programmes, plans, policies and budgets.

Women and girls have improved access to education, reflected in educational and professional outcomes.

Similarly, there has been a significant decrease in maternal and child mortality rates. Some improvements have also been evident in women’s access to economic resources, including land and house ownership.

However, the report concludes that much more remains to be done to address the remaining barriers to achieve Sustainable Development Goal of gender parity by 2030.

It extensively discusses factors that still prevent women from realising their rights.

Traditional cultural norms and values, which legitimise violence and discrimination at home, in the community and in the market against them and inadequacy of laws, institutions and financial and human resources to address them, are discussed in detail with evidence.

The report also recommends a series of actions to transform social norms and attitudes, assist women in overcoming structural social and economic barriers to effective participation in the market and to ensure their full participation, voice and agency in all spheres of local and national life.

It has strongly emphasised the need for empowerment and capacity building of women and for concerted efforts to address the discriminatory social norms.