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Statement by Hon’ble Ms. Uma Regmi, Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizen at the Sixty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Statement by Hon’ble Ms. Uma Regmi, Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizen at the Sixty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women

New York, 14-25 March 2022

Priority theme: Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes

16 March 2022

Madam Chair,

At the outset, I would like to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau on your elections. I assure you of my delegation’s full support for the successful outcome of the Session.

I also take this opportunity to thank the UN Secretary-General for his comprehensive report on this agenda item.

Madam Chair,

This year’s priority theme resonates well with Nepal’s development aspirations to create a gender equal society.

The climate crisis is not “gender neutral”. Instead, it increases existing gender inequalities by putting multiple stresses on ways of life, livelihoods, health, safety and security of women and girls.

It is a “threat multiplier”, which makes women and girls more vulnerable to all forms of gender-based violence and human trafficking.

Let us not forget that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic further worsens the situation.

The climate crisis, COVID-19 pandemic, disaster risk reduction and SDGs are interconnected. They require an integrated approach with full participation of women.

Integrated approach is the best pathway to prevent this “Decade of Action” from being a “Decade of lost”.

Madam Chair

The Constitution of Nepal guarantees the fundamental rights of women and girls, including the rights of sexual minorities. Women enjoy the right to lineage. Equal rights in family matters and property are guaranteed. The sexual and reproductive health rights of all women and girls have been firmly established by law.

The Constitution guarantees 33 % seats in Federal and Provincial parliament and 40 % seats in local government for women representation. As a result, currently, women represent 33% in Federal, 34% in Provincial and 41% in Local Legislature.

Nepal has made gender equality and women empowerment its development priorities. National Gender Equality Policy, 2021 has just come into effect aiming at establishing a gender-friendly governance system at all levels.

We have been implementing a zero-tolerance policy on gender-based violence. Nepal is a pioneer country in South Asia to implement the gender-responsive budget. We will soon endorse the Second National Action Plan on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and 1820.

Nepal has an independent National Women’s Commission to safeguard women’s rights and interests.

As a member of the Human Rights Council and CEDAW Committee, Nepal has been contributing to the protection and promotion of human rights, including of the women, girls, sexual minorities, and disables.

Madam Chair,

Despite the negligible contribution to GHG emission, Nepal is suffering from rising temperatures that caused rapid melting of ice in the Himalayas, which will cause drying up of our rivers, a source of lives and livelihoods.  

That is just absolutely unfair and unjust. We urge the international community to take bold and decisive actions to avert this crisis.

There is an urgent need to fulfill the $100 billion per year commitment of developed countries and to double adaptation finance by 2025 for ensuring gender-just climate solutions, increasing women’s leadership in the green economy, and building women’s and girls’ resilience to climate impacts and disasters.

Our promise to reach a net-zero emission by 2045 and submission of Second NDC is reflection of our commitment to Parish Agreement.

Our Climate Change Policy, 2019 embraces the idea of mainstreaming gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) into climate change mitigation and adaptation programs. Nepal has also adopted the GESI in Climate Change: Action Plan (2020-2030).

Madam Chair,

As women comprise half of the global population with half of its potential, without their inclusion, the resilient recovery and realization of sustainable development will be a distant dream.

Nepal is committed to joining its hand to work together with international community in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls for a prosperous society and healthy planet.

I thank you for your attention.