Empowering Women as Agents of Change in Taplejung, Nepal

Workshop participants

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development’s (ICIMOD) Rural Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation in the Himalayas (Himalica) Programme, in partnership with Environment Conservation and Development Forum (ECDF) organised the two-day workshop Empowering Women as Agents of Change in Taplejung, Nepal. Twenty eight participants (15 women and 13 men) representing government organisations, non-government organisations, cardamom trade associations and community leaders from three pilot sites participated in the workshop held from 27 and 28 April 2016. Chitra Kumari Limbu, Chairperson of Inter-Party Women Network, Taplejung inaugurated the workshop, followed by welcome remarks from Kumar Siwa, Chairperson of ECDF, and technical sessions facilitated  by senior ICIMOD gender and livelihoods specialists.

Ms. Ambika Yengden presenting group action plan 

The objective of the workshop was to understand women’s involvement and their contributions in various aspects – agriculture, natural resource management, health, education etc, and identify ways to empower women as agents of change.

Specific objectives were to build understanding on gender equality among men and women leaders and strengthen their skills as agents of change. Exercises were carried out in understanding gender differences and abilities through interactive discussions among participants and sharing their own personal gender history profiles. The workshop specifically looked at the roles and contributions of women and men at each node of the cardamom value chain, including skills, technologies they use, and constraints and benefits. Of participants, 46% were men whose support is critical for women to emerge as leaders of their organisations and communities. For men to be supportive, they need to understand gender and be part of gender transformative change process. The participants of the workshop will hopefully acknowledge the roles women play at different stages of cardamom value chain, and make contributions toward gender equality, and be agents of change in their communities and families.