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