UN Women presents its work to integrate women’s rights in Nepal post-disaster response
Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2015
During a briefing at the Second Regular Session of the Executive Board on 16 September, panelists discussed UN Women’s operational response in Nepal since the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that devastated the country in April, and watched an emotional video.
UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri emphasized the importance of women’s involvement in the nation’s recovery process. “Perhaps this is the best illustration of how women are the most impacted; differentially impacted,” she said, “but also that they are the first responders and also that they are the best and the biggest responders.”
Five multipurpose women’s centres operated by UN Women civil society partners have been established in affected areas to support thousands of women. Immediately after the disaster occurred, UN Women and its partner organizations distributed 5,000 dignity kits to those in need.
Maria-Noel Vaeza, Director of UN Women’s Programme Division, identified women and girls who survived the crisis as part of an especially vulnerable demographic, due to existing gender inequalities, exclusion, poverty and discrimination in the region. “The impact on women was extraordinary,” she said.
UN Women has been actively involved in the development of Nepal’s Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), and advocated for a study to be conducted to examine the earthquake’s effect on women’s livelihoods, housing, property and citizenship rights in collaboration with the National Planning Commission and Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare. UN Women has also pushed for long-term change by providing technical inputs to the Government of Nepal’s draft bill on the Disaster Management Act, in addition to preparing recommendations for gender equality integration in the National Disaster Management Authority.