Nepal women take on local leadership

An UNDEF project in Nepal works to strengthen gender-responsive local governance, with a focus on the rights of marginalized and indigenous women in the Icchakmana and Kalika municipalities of Chitwan. The initiative encourages women to assume decision-making positions in local government, which in turn helps engage other women in the community to lead advocacy campaigns for Chepang women’s leadership and participation. During November and December 2021, the project engaged over 5000 members of the Chepang community in the annual international campaign 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, addressing root causes such as child marriage, polygamy, gambling, and substance abuse. The campaign included a radio series of 65 episodes, and was covered in the local news.

The project also indentified male role models to provide a supportive environment for women leadership. The participants were sensitized on gender equality, local planning processes and gender responsive budgets. They were then active in advocacy for Chepang women’s participation in local planning processes and budget allocation.

Implemented by the Development Exchange Center of Nepal, the initiative builds on a previous project by the same organization. The project’s efforts will be replicated by other municipalities in the future.