Pilot Project Empowers Nepali Women as Agents of Change

An interactive session on women empowerment as agents of change in Udayapur. 

A two-day workshop on ‘Empowering Women as Agents of Change’  to contextualise gender inequality, to identify and strengthen the perceptions of key stakeholders in strengthening women’s roles in decision-making processes, and to recognise women as agents of change was held in Udayapur, Nepal 20-21 September 2016. The workshop was organised by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development’s (ICIMOD) Rural Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation in the Himalayas (Himalica) Programme, in partnership with Centre for Environment, Agricultural Policy Research and Development (CEAPRED).  Twenty participants, genders equally represented, from government organisations, non-government organisations, vegetable producer groups and cooperatives from pilot sites participated in the workshop. 

The workshop included individual and group exercises on understanding gender differences, inequalities and abilities through interactive discussions among participants and also sharing their own personal gender history profiles. Participation of men in the workshop was important because their support is critical for women to emerge as leaders. In order to have men as allies and supporters, men need to understand ‘gender’ and be part of gender transformative change process.

Technical sessions of the workshop were facilitated by Chanda Gurung Goodrich, Senior Gender Specialist, Min Bdr Gurung, Associate Institution Development Specialist of ICIMOD, and Himalica project coordinator, Shyam Chandra Ghimire from CEAPRED. 

Two major achievements of the workshop were the of development of action plans and commitments from different levels. Community leaders representing three pilot sites prepared a group level action plan based on gender analysis carried out in the workshop in participatory way. The staff of district line agencies such as District Development Committee, District Agriculture Development Office and Women and Children Development Office also participated actively and made significant contribution in developing the group action plan. 

Individuals, group level, CEAPRED Himalica, and district line agencies as key facilitator of the change process made commitments at different levels:

  • Individually, each and every one committed to bring change their behaviours and practices toward a gender transformative change in their communities and families, in whatever way they could. 
  • Collectively, all participants committed for gender transformative change with fair distribution of benefits coming from the value chain development and to enhance meaningful participation of women in decision making processes for inclusive growth and resilient community development. 
  • And at the group level, each group will develop an operational plan to ensure activities included in the action plan will be implemented within the given timeframe through active participation of community themselves and will also seek support from outside as required. 
  • District line agencies committed to extend their support in every respect to get implement the group’s action plans. The representative of District Development Committee’s secretariat ensured that she will try to accommodate the key activities in the coming annual plan as far as possible otherwise it will be kept in waiting list for the next year plan. 
  • Himalica CEAPRED will facilitate to compile the draft action plan of all three pilot sites and will circulate to community groups, relevant line agencies and ICIMOD for further support and action.