The changes that have emerged in political, social and economic context of Nepal after 2006, we all realize and accept that how women in Nepal are coming forward to enjoy their rights and access to each and every level of governmental and social opportunities and distribution. Unfortunately, there is still a lot to be done and a long way to go in order to create an equal and a just society for women in Nepal. Gender equality and social inclusion is fundamental in achieving good governance, economic growth, and development. Therefore, Nepal should immediately abolish discriminatory laws and practices that inhibit the economic ability of women, enact new laws where no laws exist in specific areas, effectively and fully implement existing laws and policies related to gender equality and social inclusion, introduce more quotas and special measures to support the increased proportion of women parliamentarians and all decision-making bodies.
Women Act, since its establishment, has been working for women, girls, youths and other marginalized population to empower them economically, socially and politically through advocacy, sensitization and lobbying for policy making to build an inclusive community. Informed by almost a decade long experience and deep local expertise, Women Act’s programs address critical issues affecting Nepal—governance, gender equality, empowerment of women, youths and marginalized communities. Women Act feels proud that it has been involving women, youth and marginalized communities from various districts in the law-making processes in Nepal. The most significant strength of Women Act is its well established grassroots networks that include women led organizations/groups, social activists, local CBO’s, NGO’s, GO’s and other stakeholders in more than 35 districts from all the regions of Nepal.
Women Act has a very successful history of working on policy advocacy and legislation. Women Act successfully conducted legislative dialogues on Domestic Violence Act and 13 different bills and acts in 35 districts of Nepal. Since the beginning of the constitution writing phase, Women Act advocated for the rights of women, empowerment and their meaningful participation in the constitution writing process to ensure that the new constitution is women friendly. Women Act lead and collaborated with National Indigenous Women’s Federation (NIWF), Women’s Democratic Network (WDN), National Network of Indigenous Women (NNIW) for the common consensus on women’s agenda in the new constitution. These national consultations were very successful in terms of ensuring women’s rights in new constitution. The landmark achievement was the formulation of ‘Non-negotiable 16 Point Agenda of Women of Nepal” agreed by all the CA members from different political parties.
In addition, Women Act has organized numerous trainings over the years both in the national and sub-national level on women’s issues, youth leadership, empowerment, gender and identity transformation, social inclusion etc. to its district chapters, local partner NGOs/CBOs and community people.
Similarly, as a response to the earthquake emergency, Women Act worked in emergency relief, rehabilitation and recovery in affected districts, especially focusing the affected women and marginalized people. With the generous support from its network NGOs, board members and donors, WA provided relief materials, established 54 Temporary Shelters in earthquake affected districts and provided livelihood support to approximately 500 earthquake affected families.
In June 2016, Women Act organized a “National Conference on Post-earthquake Recovery and Reconstruction Interventions: Sharing Information & Lessons Learned” in Kathmandu. This is the first of its kind high level conference organized in Nepal till date. Major themes of the conference were disaster management and the national action plan, post-disaster livelihood recovery process and lessons learned, and domestic violence in post-earthquake scenario. Representatives from the Government of Nepal, media, and academia and development sectors participated in the conference. Earthquake survivors from Dolakha, Ramechhap, Rasuwa and Dhading also joined the conference and shared their experience to the audience. Similarly, in March 2017, Women Act organized a high level “National Conference on Gender Equality and Social Inclusion: Issues and Challenges” in Kathmandu. This conference brought together nearly 100 GESI experts and rights activists from around the country representing the Government of Nepal, media, academia and development sectors. The two-day conference reviewed the policy gaps and challenges and raised the dialogue and advocated for policies to ensure the rights of women as enshrined in the new constitution are protected and promoted.
The biggest reason we were able to reach thousands of families and successful policy advocacy from grassroots level to national arena within a short period of time was because of all the unwavering love and support from our donors, alliances and supporters. I would like to thank each and every one of Women Act’s donors and supporters for their kind hearts and their wishes to accompany our mission every step of the way.
I, and the entire team of Women Act, request your continued and ongoing support.