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FES Gender Training Concludes

25-27 August 2009

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Nepal office organised a three-day workshop on Gender Equality with the support of Gender Equality Project in Asia based in New Delhi office of FES. The three day long workshop covered various gender related issues which would contribute towards policy related outcomes in order to bring about positive effects into the lives of people-both men and women. Nepali expert, academics, politicians, activists and media personnel expressed their views on the status of women in Nepal and furnished suggestions about the course FES should undertake.

The experts' ideas and policy-relevant views were collected at three places: Padma Kanya Multiple Campus, Women for Human Rights and FES office. Those experts who contributed their views were Dr. Meena Acharya, Dr Chandra Bhadra (Academic Director, Gender Studies Programme, Padam Kanya Campus), Dr. Harinder Thapaliaya (Professor, Gender Studies Programme, Padma Kanaya Campus ), Ms. Pusha Niroula (Faculty - Gender Studies Prgoramme, Padma Kanya Campus), Ms, Neera Shrestha (Faculty - Gender Studies Prgoramme, Padma Kanya Campus), Ms. Sadhana Shrestha - Coordinator, South Asian Network for Widows Empowerment, Ms Srijana Lohani, Project Manager, Women for Human Rights (WHR) Single Women's Group, Ms Binda Panday, Chairperson of Fundamental Rights Committee of the Constituent Assembly and Ms. Babita Basnet, Chairperson, Sancharika Samuha. Likewise, Dev Raj Dahal and Kristina Brike, Coordinator of Gender Project for South and Southeast Asia of FES also provided valuable inputs during the workshop.

The whole idea of this workshop was to create gender-sensitive public and private life through measures such as knowledge building, socialization, humanization and social transformation. This is primarily because Nepal has gone through major political changes but the political changes can only be institutionalized in a real sense of the term if social transformations are inculcated or reflected in the family, workplace, society, economy and politics. In the policy making and politics equal participation of societal actors is necessary to balance the structural imbalances and enhance the prospects of participatory democracy. That democracy can only be strengthened when its stakeholder (the people) could speak their mind and feel ownership towards it. Inclusion of gender, or to be more precise striking gender balance, plays a great deal of role in creating a just society, based on freedom, social justice, solidarity and peace. However, all these can only happen, when there is a significant changes in the attitude and mindset of the people (in many occasions its male leadership) said Binda Pandey. For example, portrayal (negative) of women in media merely for the "commercial purpose" has commodified and undermined their human dignity thereby said Dr. Meena Acharya. Kristina Birke highlighted the gender project of FES for Asia and the possibility for Nepal to reap benefit from it. Others who participated in the workshop included Nav Raj Dahal, Samira Poudel and Chandra D Bhatta.

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