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Rehabilitation of Conflict Victim Single Women

Organised by Women for Human Rights (WHR)

14 -15 May 2008
Latikoili, Surkhet

The regional workshop of Women for Human Rights single women (widows) group for Far Western Development Region took place at single women (widows) group hall of Surkhet. There was a presence of participants representing different districts of Far Western Development Region, staffs and single women (widows) group of Surkhet office. The workshop was supported by FES, Nepal.

The major objective of the workshop was to -
Formulate a comprehensive and strategic five year vision through a participatory approach inclusive of voices of single women (widows) from 75 districts of Nepal

The specific objectives of the workshop were to-

  1. Develop a holistic strategy for the organization and its network
  2. Find out and incorporate the emerging issues of single women (widows) into the strategy
  3. Identify role of district in five year vision
  4. Identify role of central office to bring positive policies in five year vision
  5. Endorse the five year strategic vision through the network

The program started with the welcome note by the Nanda Shrestha, chairperson of single women (widows) group Surkhet. She welcomed all the participants and encouraged everyone to work in coordination. Ram Kumari, Secretary of single women group of Surkhet presented work schedule for the day. Every participant in the workshop gave their personal introduction. They also shared the activities that had been done and is been running in their single women group. Lily Thapa, Chairperson of WHR from central office gave overall activities of central office.

During the discussion about the issues of single women (widows) to be raised in the community and the policy level, the following issues were identified:

1. Future of the children (continuation to their education)
2. Identity of single women.
3. Discrimination of single women (widows)
4. Minimum level of education and unemployment
5. Domestic violence/ Evil eyes towards single women (widows)
6. Lack of opportunity
7. Discriminatory Policy of the State
8. High dependency on others in terms of economy

After the identification of the issues, the legal amendments made till date and to be done in the future were discussed which included the following things:

1. Replaced "widow" in the Muluki Ain with the word "single woman"
2. Single woman (widow) is allowed to take her property along with her in case of her remarriage.
3. Single woman (widow) need not seek anyone's permissions to get or sell her property.
4. Single woman(widow) skill development planning was included in the Interim Development Plan
5. Groups and committee working for the issues of single women (widows) to be incorporated in Red Book
6. Special Serial Security Scheme for single women (widows) by the State
7. South Asian Network for Widows Empowerment and Development
8. Declaration of Umbrella group at United Nation Organization

The program headed with the discussion regarding the regional expansion planning along with five year vision. The discussion concluded in the following ways:

1. The districts with single women (widows) groups will help to expand single women (widows) groups in the nearer districts without single women (widows) groups within six month.
2. Establishment of Chhahari by searching the government land
3. Cooperatives- saving programs
4. Organizational development by registration in CDO and formulation of code of conduct
5. Start advocacy for the provision of special social security scheme for single women (widows)
6. Awareness raising programs in the districts in coordination with local organizations and groups
7. Starting sustainable income generation activities For instance, Orange farming as that in Kavre
8. Coordination with District Development Committee to register the Regional Office in Red Book
9. Remove discriminatory level by filing cases and proceed with those cases for the ill treatment and violation of any form of human rights
10. Single women (widows) issues to be discussed with the members of Constituent Assembly (either male or female ) representing diversity of the political as well as physical division of the districts of the region
11. Establishment of foundation through various fund raising events such as lottery, bhaili program, musical events
12. Political empowerment through registering party with the issues

The most important activities to be done by regional network were decided as-

1. Formation of groups in districts
2. Collection of statistic of single women (widows)
3. Establishment of Regional Contact Office
4. Bi-yearly gathering and meeting of all the regional working committee to update the regional activities through sharing and encouraging
5. Establishment of Regional Fund
6. Formulation of Code of conduct for the Organizational Development
7. Establishment of "Chhahari" for sheltering single women (widows) for the emergency relief
8. Regional market management for the marketing of products made by Single Women Entrepreneur Group (SWEG).

The participants were divided into two groups on the basis of the development region they belong to. This means the divided two groups were participants from the Mid Western Development Region and Far Western Development Region. After the discussion among the group for the formation of the working committee, the following decision came to an existence.

Far Western Development Region will have the working committee in this order:

1. President- Kailali
2. Vice President- Kanchanpur
3. Secretary- Doti
4. Treasurer- Dadeldhura
5. Member- Bajura
6. Member - Darchula
7. Member - Aachham
8. Member - Baitadi
9. Member - Bajhang

The decided districts in working committee are Kailali, Kanchanpur, and Dadeldhura.

Mid Western Development Region will have the working committee in this order:

1. President- Surkhet
2. Vice President- Dang
3. Secretary- Banke
4. Treasurer- Dailekh
5. Member- Bardiya
6. Member - Jajarkot
7. Member - Salyan
8. Member - Dang
9. Member - Pyuthan
10. Member - Rolpa
11. Member - Dolpa-Banke
12. Member - Humla- Surkhet
13. Member -Rukum-Dang
14. Member -Kalikot-Dailekh
15. Member -Mugu -Surket
16. Member -Jumla- Banke

For the expansion of the regional network and accomplish the five year vision, WHR central office will support in the following way:

1. Providing seed money t the Regional office
2. Bearing the cost of house rent and furniture
3. Providing Rs 20 lakh for the construction of Chhahari
4. Providing 1 staff to work in the Regional office
5. Provide programs to districts of Region and monitoring the activities carried up
6. Provide training to formulate rules and regulation for regional functioning, empowerment and networking

The participants also shared poems and songs within intervals to entertain as well as to refresh themselves. The results of the regional workshop were the output of the brainstorming and the consensus of the participants representing single women (widows) group of various districts of Far Western and Mid Western Development Region.

With the proper mindset and the five year vision the program adjourned with light refreshment.

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