Transformations was a video done with WPD – Nepal by the Ontario Council for International Cooperation in conjunction with World Accord. It highlights the partnership model that World Accord espouses and the excellent work being done by WPD in rural Nepal. View it here
7 rural communities in Central Nepal
Rights and Economic development for Nepal’s Empowered Women (RENEW)
Funded in large part by Global Affairs Canada, RENEW is a fully gender equality integrated four-year project in Makwanpur and Nuwakot districts of Nepal, with a total budget of 1.47 million dollars. It aims to enhance social and economic empowerment of 900 women and girls, especially from the lowest caste (the Dalit) and most vulnerable groups by implementing proven poverty reduction measures. We will achieve this ultimate outcome by bringing a human rights-based approach to economic and social growth – focusing on climate change adaptation, enhanced performance of micro/small-scale enterprises, increased access to the products and services required by these enterprises, as well as on the social empowerment of women and girls enabling them to effectively engage in their communities. This will strengthen women’s and girls’ aspirations, confidence, decision-making autonomy and leadership while also promoting a strong sense of community inclusion and sisterhood (the term used by women in their communities to describe the solidarity they experience with other women). RENEW will result in positive choices for women and girls, allowing them to increase their enjoyment of their human rights.
Furthermore, capacity-building by our local partners will enable them to increase women’s and girls’ participation and leadership in community decision-making while better promoting and advancing human rights and gender equality.
RENEW brings together a consortium of one Canadian, World Accord, and six Nepali partners– Women for Peace and Democracy (WPD), two cooperatives, Rural Self-reliance Development Centre (RSDC), Climate Energy Network (CEN) and the Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC) – with decades of combined relevant experience in the region along with significant expertise in key areas: human rights, women’s and girls’ social empowerment of vulnerable populations, access to microfinance, women’s economic empowerment, agriculture and environmental management. RENEW will include a private sector contribution from the Egg Farmers of Ontario to strengthen poultry and egg producing operations of women and women’s groups in the program.
Socio-Economic Empowerment Program for Women & Marginalized Populations (SEWAM)
The SEWAM program supports agricultural production and micro-enterprise-based income generation through rural groups. Since the start of the project, WPD-Nepal has provided training in income generation, micro-credit and support to strengthen Mutual Development Organizations. These local groups serve as sources for rotating credit, mutual support, and collective action for income generation and community development. They also coordinate advocacy with local governments and other service providers through which groups can also access land and services.
Nepal has a population of 31 million. About half lives below the international poverty line ($1.25/day). Along with Afghanistan, Nepal is the poorest country in South Asia. Its GDP per capita places Nepal 209th in the world. The country has an unemployment rate of 25% of employment leading to high pressure to migrate.
Nepal’s adult literacy rate is around 55%, and 40% of the country’s income comes from agriculture. Nepal is one of the countries most intensely affected by climate change and glacier melts. Nepalese society is still healing and in transition following a 10 year civil war that destroyed infrastructure & caused deep social rifts.
Successive post-war governments continue work on drafting a new constitutional and re-integrate ex-combatants. Nepal is a cross-roads where many cultures and religions in Asia meet; including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Nepal is a very ecologically diverse country with ecosystems that range from the highest mountains in the world to fertile plains and lush forest valleys.
Region of Work
Seventy-five percent of program participants are involved in subsistence agriculture (paddy and vegetable farming; raising small animals). About ¾ of participants lack enough food for up to 6 months of the year. The nature of the terrain (soil fertility, slopes, etc.), availability of water, and farming techniques used are the major constraints responsible for low productivity. In most of these cases, off-season vegetable farming has the potential to provide more reliable diet and incomes. This is a focus of training. High levels of illiteracy (92% for women, 65% for men) persist.
Most participants in WPD programming are born into lower caste or ethnic minority groups, and experience systemic discrimination that limits their access to education and economic opportunities.
|Population||30.4 Million||35.1 million|
|Size||147,181 km2||9.9 million km2|
|Ranking- Human Development Index||#157 in the world||#11 in the world|
|Life Expectancy||#165 in the world||#13 in the world|
|Population below the Poverty Line||25%||9.4%|
|Carbon Footprint per person||#204 in the world||#14 in the world|
|Employment in Agriculture||75%||2%|
|Women in Parliament||33.2%||25%|
|Cost of Basic Needs Basket for a Family of 4||$2,300|
|Average Monthly Minimum Wage||$72.75||$1,690|
|GDP Per Capita||#209 in world||#27 in world|