A report of Seminar on Economic Empowerment
of Youth: an analysis from gender perspective
Organized by Women Studies Program, Padma
Kanya Multiple Campis, Tribhuvan University
Uma Koirala, Ph.D.
Women Studies Program
19 April 2011, Kathmandu
Central department of Home Science and
Women's Studies Program (CDHS&WSP) had organized a day seminar
on the theme Economic Empowerment of Youth: an analysis from gender
perspective in Baishakh 6, 2068 (April 19, 2011) at hotel Annapurna,
King's way (appendix A). The major objective of the seminar is
to update faculty members and students with latest knowledge and
development in the issues of economic empowerment of youth from
gender perspective in present context of Nepal.
The seminar was conducted in two sessions.
One was inaugural and next was working session. Inaugural session
was performed under the chair of Prof. Dr. Nava Raj Kandel Dean,
Faculty of Humanities, Tribhuvan University (TU). Chief Guest
of the program was Prof. Dr. Madav Prasad Sharma, Vice Chacellor
of Tribhuvan University. Prof. Dr. Surya Lal Amatya, Rector,
Tribhuvan University, Prof. Arabinda Bhomi, Director of SINAS,
Tribhuvan University, Kashi Raj Dahal, Chief, Law Reform Commission,
Nepal, Representatives of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Campus
Chief Erene Shrestha, Padma Kanya M. Campus, Assoc. Prof. Anila
Shrestha, Chief, CDHS&WSP were among the other distinguished
guests presented on the seminar.
At the beginning, Chief, Anila Shrestha,
CDHS&WSP welcomed all distinguished guests by her welcome
speech. In her speech she further said that every year nearly
0.4 million Nepali youth are becoming unemployed and trying
to migrate in foreign countries for the search of job which
is a great loss of the country.
Prof. Dr. Indira Sharma, CDHS&WSP,
heighted on the objectives of the seminar. During her speech
Prof. Sharma said that since the establishment of CDHS&WSP
it is performing various academic activities to widen the knowledge
along with updating about the various issues of the society
in global and local context and this seminar is one another
step of the same activities. According to Prof. Sharma youth
involvement in various income generating activities are major
concerning issue of the nation today. This involvement may create
job market in our own country in one hand and increase income
in other side so that these very productive young people could
participate in the development of nation instead of serving
other nations. However for creating those environments, economic
empowerment to all youths (male, female & third sex) is
necessary, Prof. Dr. Sharma added. She further highlighted that
the CDHS&WSP has realized the importance of the economic
empowerment of youth because Department is highly dedicated
to empower young people through academia. Therefore, according
to her the major objective of this seminar was to explore the
importance and possible way of economic empowerment of youth
from gender perspective.
Chief Guest of the program Prof. Dr.
Madhav Prasad Sharma, VC, TU. then formally did inauguration
of the seminar by lightning the panas. Immediately after inauguration
he delivered an inaugural speech. During speech Prof. Sharma
expressed his happiness that CDHS&WSP is not only a pioneer
to advocate about women's right but also for the gender equality.
He further expressed his hope and wishes that this seminar will
give a definite guideline on the issue of economic empowerment
of the youth so that young people will be benefited in coming
days by which country could be benefited ultimately.
Representative of FES during his speech
pointed out the general characteristic of society as demand
of equality by weaker section and raising voice of freedom by
stronger section of the society. However young women are more
marginalized in comparison to other male counterpart so we have
to think creatively to bring female youth in mainstream of economic
activities he further suggested. He further emphasized that
youths are asset of the nation so proper guidance is need to
involve them in productive work.
During inaugural session Joint Secretary
Mr. Ran Bahadur Shretha, Ministry of Youth & Sports (MOY&S),
during his speech, gave information about general policies and
programs developed by MOY&S to bring young people in mainstream
of national development. He further clarified that the strategy
plan of youth has defined 16 to 40 year's age group people as
Rector Prof. Surya Lal Amatya, TU also
delivered a lecture and pointed out the importance of gender
studies in present context and expressed his hope that Padma
Kanya Campus will take a lead to enroll male students in Gender
studies. Prof. Amatya also mentioned that CDHS&WSP has done
commendable job of empowering young women towards their rights
and duties through Women's Studies Course and made them a very
good change agent /actor of gender equality.
In the same session, former member of
National Planning commission Dr. Nirmal Pandey delivered few
words made a wish for the success of the seminar. During his
speech Dr. Pandey appreciated the theme of seminar as a very
timely and congratulates CDHS for taking lead to organize such
a valuable interaction program. Society is experiencing changes
within itself by the program focused on women/gender equality
doing by Government and I/NGOs which could be clearly seen even
in the Far Western part of the country, he further added.
At the end of the session, Chair person
of the inaugural session Dean, Prof. Dr. Nava Raj Kandel, Faculty
of Humanities, TU expressed his happiness that the conducted
seminar is very contemporary and important in present context
of Nepal. Prof. Dr. Kandel also mentioned that Government should
recognize the household entrepreneurship of the women. However
it is necessary to promote entrepreneurship of youth so that
there will be more qualified and competent human resource to
intervene the economic growth and development of the nation,
Coordinator Dr. Uma Koirala, Women's
Studies Program, TU, thanked all the distinguished guests and
participants for their valuable time provided to the seminar.
Master level students of Gender studies, Women's Studies, Population
Studies, Sociology and Economics were the participants of the
seminar. All the faculty members of CDHS&WSP and Gender
Studies had also participated in the seminar. Ms. Kalpana G.C.
was the master of ceremony of this inaugural session.
Second session of the seminar was working
session. This session was conducted under the chair of Prof.
Dr. Indira Sharma. Three thematic papers were presented during
this session. First paper was presented by President and senior
economic consultant Dr. Meena Acharya, Tanka Prasad Acharya
Memorial Foundation, entitled Approaches to Development and
Gender - an impact in Nepal's policies. In her paper Dr. Acharya
has mentioned that Jana Andolan II, has set the tone of the
current fundamental political transformation in progress in
Nepal. She further mentioned that this transformation has changed
the way the goal and objectives of economic development are
perceived in the country. With mobilized groups increasingly
making demands on the state for social justice, it has become
clear to policy makers that development without equity is not
sustainable. This has led to changes in the policy approach
to development, from gender mainstreaming and inclusion as a
strategy to accelerate the growth and reduce poverty to right
based approach to development. The process of formulating the
Three Years Interim Plan (TYIP) (2007-2010) also reflected this
change. According to Dr. Acharya efforts were made to listen
to the citizens' voices on a much wider scale when setting development
goals and objectives of the Plan, however there are lot problem
seen in the implementation part.
Commentating in the paper of Dr. Acharya
Director, Dr. Nirmal Pandey, Centre for Policy Research, appreciated
the concept and effort of paper to explore the Government's
plan and policies to empower women. He further elaborated that
Ninth Five Year Plan was a turning point for women's empowerment
where women's empowerment has taken as a right based approach.
He also mentioned that CBOs, women activists and gender conditions
are so live in Nepal who could make desirable change in the
area of women's right and gender equality.
Various concerns and quarries were raised
after the paper presentation and commentator's comment on the
paper. Assoc. Prof. Meera Mishra made a concern about the mention
of role of institutions, women's agencies and structural changes
in the presented paper which have made positive changes in the
life of women. Similarly, Prof.Dr. Chandra Bhadra and Dhan Pd.
Pandit also expressed quarries about the various efforts made
by I/NGOs for women's empowerment.
At the end Dr. Acharya tried to satisfy
all quarries made by participants and said that she will be
happy if her paper makes a ground of debate in future.
Second paper was presented by Campus
Chief, Dr. Shree Krishna Shrestha, Public Administration Campus,
on Youth Empowerment through Youth Entrepreneurship in Nepal
. This paper has mentioned that youths constitute 38 percent
of the total population of Nepal. Statistics show that about
400,000 youths hit the employment market every year. The situation
of youths is different in accordance with social, economic and
geographical context. There is difference between the youths
in urban and rural areas in terms of their access to services,
facilities and resources. The youths of the rural areas have
very limited resources, means and opportunities. A common identity
is difficult among the youths because of diversity, different
status, situation and environment. So, Dr. Shrestha urged that
it is necessary to adopt different strategies to address these
different contexts while making an effective policies targeted
to youths. He elaborately discussed about the situation of youth
and need of economic empowerment of them for income generating
activities and widens the job market so that there could be
ample attraction for youth to retain in their own country. He
further elaborated the general practice that youth's rights
should be judged from three key areas of Provision, Protection,
and participation, often described as the three Ps.
Prof. Dr. Puspa Shrestha, Malla, Central
Dept. of Economics, made comment on Dr. Shree Krishna Shrestha.
According to Prof. Mall, choice of life is necessary for the
young people to empower them. What they need and what they desire
should be focused i n the planning. There should be brain gain
approach need to be taken seriously against brain drain and
it should be reflected in policy as well. She further suggested
making coordination with FNCCI to develop entrepreneurship for
Various quarries and concerns were made
by various participants of the seminar. Major concerned were
raised on the age group of youth (16 - 40 years) mentioned in
the definition of youth. Prof. Dr. Chandra Bhadra expressed
her quarries on how foreign employment is destroying family/house?
At the end Dr. Shrestha clarified the quarries raised.
Lastly, third paper entitled International Instruments and youth
policy of Nepal to empower youth was presented by Joint Secretary
R.B. Shrestha, MOY&S. Mr. Shrestha has mentioned various
international and national instruments related to the youth
in his paper. During paper presentation Mr. shrestha said that
Government is trying to ensure youth participation at local,
national, regional and continental levels. To reach this goal,
it is a duty of various sectors of the society to improve the
capacity of the youth to get involved in public life and provide
them with access to information on politics as well as instruments
for participation. Youth organizations must be strengthened
and youth delegations included in important political meetings.
In all these respects the needs of marginalized youth must be
considered and special support need to provide. He also informed
the participants that Government has a desire to invest one
percent of the National budget for youth so that mass employment
and income generation activities could be possible however this
could not be materialized yet.
Commenting on the above paper commentator
Prof. Dr. Chandra Bhadra said that family/nation needs to invest
on youth by giving them good quality education and skills to
make them a good quality human resources with protecting them
against various types of violence. She also emphasized on making
these young people gender sensitive so that they could create
gender just society/nation.
Various quarries were made by the participants
in the Ran Bd. Shrestha's paper especially about the employment
opportunity and seed money (without any deposite) to start any
entrepreneurship providing by the MOY&S to support youth
for economic empowerment.
At the end of the second session the
Chairperson of the session Prof. Dr. Indira Sharma summed up
all three papers that were presented in the seminar. Prof. Sharma
also thanked all paper presentators for presenting such a valuable
thematic papers which could be very beneficial to the participants.
She also thanked commentators for their creative comments along
with participants for their active participation and raising
This seminar was conducted on the coordination
of Dr. Uma Koirala. FES had sponsored this one day seminar.