•      Tue Feb 27 2024

UN, European Union organize joint programme on empowerment of women

Kathmandu, Dec 8: The government, the European Union and the UN jointly organized an event aligning with the global theme of “Unite: Invest to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls” for this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Janakpur, Nepal.

In the programme, Chairperson of Committee on Women, Children and Social Justice at Madhesh Province Assembly, Rupa Yadav, said, “Despite strides in gender-based violence prevention and equality efforts, challenges persist.”

It was shared during the programme that out of the 753 local levels in the country, only 115 municipalities have established the GBV prevention fund, signaling the necessity to expand its coverage.

This gap highlights the disparity between promised legal rights and women’s actual access to and benefit from these crucial funds. There’s a pressing need to expand the coverage of the GBV prevention fund across local levels, according to her.

Similarly, Deputy Head of Cooperation from the European Union, Eloisa Astudillo Fernandez, viewed, “GBV is rooted in multifaceted factors, like economic disparities and entrenched cultural norms.” A proactive approach integrating GBV prevention and responses as well as promoting equality is essential and the European Union is committed to support Nepal government in the investment in the prevention of GBV, she stated.

Moreover, Patricia Fernandez Pacheco, speaking on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator in Nepal, said violence against women and girls presents a global concern that transcends borders and necessitates immediate collective efforts.

“Nepal’s commitment to diminish physical/sexual violence by 6.5 percent among women aged 15-49 by 2030 signifies significant progress, yet effective planning and strategic investment in GBV prevention at every provincial level are imperative,” she stressed, adding it is imperative to disrupt unequal power dynamics governing women’s bodies.

The attendees included representatives from the provincial and local governments, the EU, representatives of UN agencies, civil society, policymakers, private sector entities and youth from Madhesh Province, according to a press release issued jointly by the government, EU and UN in Nepal.