Bhusan Yadav. Madhesi women join protests in Birgunj with brooms and black flags.
Ten years on from the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Nepal that ended a decade-long civil war, Conciliation Resources’ latest Accord spotlight publication explores gender relations and equality in the country’s transition from war.
The new report reflects discussions from a gender workshop convened by Conciliation Resources and the Social Science Baha in Nepal in 2016. The workshop, which brought together 24 women and men, included local-level and national politicians, civil society groups, academics, journalists and independent researchers.
Five key findings emerged from these discussions
- Formal participation vs. informal influence: The post-war era has brought clear gains for women in terms of formal political participation and representation. But these have not been matched by women’s ability to influence decision-making. Established male political leaders continue to monopolise major policy negotiations, often outside formal institutions.
- International frameworks: International agreements and frameworks on gender equality have provided important impetus for the advancement of women’s rights and progressive policy change. However, national legal frameworks continue to discriminate against women.
- Gender and sexual minority rights: Despite continued legislative barriers and social stigmatisation, remarkable progress in institutionalising sexual and gender minority rights has been achieved through effective mobilisation and advocacy.
- The Maoist insurgency: The Maoists’ commitment to women’s emancipation helped raise awareness and had a significant impact on intersectional inclusion and gender equality in Nepal. However, gains have been offset by limitations regarding gender roles and status, especially within the senior Maoist leadership.
- The Earthquake: A period of intense political change followed the 2015 earthquakes, which has generated ongoing challenges and opportunities for gender inclusion. In the aftermath of the earthquake the 2015 Constitution was rushed through with very limited participation or consultation and with uneven impacts on gender equality. The earthquake relief also exposed serious gaps between policy and programming regarding gender sensitivity.
Read the full report Gender and Nepal’s transition from war.
This meeting was one of three gender workshops exploring political settlement beyond elites, with other events taking place in Colombia and Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. The publication is part of the Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP) which explores how international and national interventions can more effectively support inclusive political settlements in fragile