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Useful for Women, Planners

Nepal Ma Mahila Bikash Ka Prayatnaharu (Efforts at Promotion of Women in Nepal)

Writer: Dr. Meena Acharya

Translator: Bhawani Sapkota

Published Date: 2005

Published by: Tanka Prasad Acharya Memorial Foundation (TPAMF) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)

Pages: 77


Dr. Meena Acharya is a noted economist and feminist writer. She has written over a dozen of books that primarily focus on economy, poverty and gender issues. The present book is the Nepali version of her "Efforts at Promotion of Women in Nepal".

Divided into six parts, the book highlights the activities carried out to raise the status of women in the social, political and economic spheres in Nepal.

In the first chapter, the author said that the UN Convention on Women held in Mexico in 1975 recognized the role of women in development (WID). Later the WID concept developed into women and development (WAD).

The second chapter presents gender perspective to peep into the problem of women. "Gender relations are the outcomes of values and power structure shaped by the society. It is culture that establishes superiority of men over women," she said.

She has defined the women empowerment as a process of controlling theories and resources that influence on women and on their power accumulation. "It is a multi-dimensional process that encompass all aspects of life such as legal rights, access to resources and means and education."

In chapter three, the book focuses on the plan and policies of the government that began to include the women issues. The women issue got priority since the formulation of Sixth Five-Year Plan. While the Eighth Plan sought the legal reforms to increase the role of women in development, the Ninth Plan adopted the strategy to bring women in the Mainstream, end gender disparity and emphasise on the women empowerment. The Tenth Plan continued the earlier policy and addressed the problems faced in the implementation front.

The fifth chapter describes about the role played by the NGOs, INGOs, trade unions, media and research institutions to end gender discrimination. The sixth chapter assesses the achievements made so far and challenges in the sector.

"There has been remarkable improvement in the indexes of social development of both males and females in the last two decades. People's access to schools, health posts and hospitals has increased leading to the decrease in the maternal mortality rate, positive change in the reproductive health and increase in the average life expectancy of women."

In the concluding section, the author says that patriarchal concept and values have still posed as big obstacle for the overall development of women. "The lack of gender sensitivity seen in the implementation of programmes and policies has greatly slowed down the progress."

She also highlights the contribution of FES/Nepal section in the promotion of gender equality through it's an array of activities. FES has been conducting discussions on the policies for the equality and social justice, assisting the production and propagation of knowledge, and different institutions such as municipalities, media, educational sector and trade unions for the purpose. "FES has contributed to increase the participation of women to minimize the conflicts and for easy integration of single women in the society."

The book is extremely useful for the women activists, policy makers and common readers to gain a right perspective on the gender issue. It also fulfils the need of literature on gender issue to some extent.

Source: The Rising Nepal, Friday Supplement (13 January 2006)

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