Beijing +15 NGO National Consultation
September 3-5, 2009
The Beijing +15 NGO National Consultation, was successfully conducted as a way to give continuity to a movement to ensure rights, justice and equity for women since 1994. The program was inaugurated by Honourable Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, who highlighted the government’s commitment to prioritize women’s issues in their plans and programs for the current fiscal year. He also expressed his commitment to ensure the implementation of policies that promote gender equity and justice. Other guests of honour were Secretary of the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Bindra Hada and Nepal Police D.I.G. Parbati Thapa.
It has been 15 years since the formulation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPFA) at the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 1995. Beyond Beijing Committee (BBC) organized a three-day national consultation to mark this 15 anniversary and to evaluate the status of women in Nepal. Embracing the theme for the Asia-Pacific NGO Forum on Beijing +15, being organized by the Asia Pacific Women’s Watch, “Weaving wisdom, confronting crisis, forging future,” participants from all over Nepal came together to discuss the achievements, challenges, emerging trends and assessing the 12 Critical Areas of Concern in the BPFA. More than 200 organizational representatives from 56 (out of 75) districts of Nepal from various ethnic, caste, marginalized, religious, linguistic, dalit, madhesi, disabled, girls, youth, elderly, professionals, political parties, law and enforcement group, LGBT and geographical regions. Representatives from national and international organizations, Constituent Assembly members, and journalists also participated in the program.
National experts presented on the BPFA and the 12 Critical Areas Concern in the present context of Nepal chaired by experts too to give further inputs on the issue. These presentations were followed by participatory group work to analyze form the grassroots context the changes in the status of women since the last two national consultation as part of Beijing +5 and 10, 2000 and 2005 on achievements, challenges, merging trends, and recommendations. At the end of the three days, the participants prioritized the 12 Critical Areas of Concern. They prioritized the critical areas in the following order: (1) Women and Education/Training, (2) Women and Health, (3) Women and Economy, 4) Women in Power and Decision-Making, 5) Women and Poverty, (6) Women’s Human Rights, (7) Violence against Women, (8) Institutional Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women, (9) Women and Media, (10) Women and Environment, (11) Girl Child, and (12) Women and Armed Conflict. During the B+10 national consultations, concerns around Women and Human Rights and Women and Armed Conflict had been foremost on people’s minds. This change in the prioritization reflects the changing political context in a post-conflict Nepal. The Nepal report will be based on the inputs of the participants from all over the country as in the past to reflect voices, reality and experiences of women of this country.