Statement by the President of Nepal, Right Honourable Mrs. Bidya Devi Bhandari, at the High-level Meeting on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing+25)
New York, 1 October 2020
Theme: Accelerating the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls
Excellency the Secretary General of the United Nations,
I begin by thanking you, Mr. President, for convening this historic meeting to mark the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women.
Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action serves as a transformative blueprint for gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.
Despite a steady progress achieved in twelve critical areas of Beijing Declaration, it will take time to fully realize those commitments.
Structural gaps and challenges still persist in society.
COVID-19 pandemic has risked further aggravating inequalities.
We should not let the pandemic stall our progress.
Ensuring timely medical care, equal access to vaccines and robust recovery plans that take care of the economic and social needs of women and girls are necessary.
This will be a test for the decade of action on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieving of the SDG 5.
Nepal is a state party to major human rights instruments including the CEDAW.
We have mainstreamed gender agenda as an integral part of national development by integrating them in the Constitution and laws.
We have strengthened law enforcement and implemented targeted interventions to end gender-based violence and discrimination.
Free air evacuation services have been provided to save the lives of the women from the remotest part of the country suffering from pregnancy and maternity-related complications.
At present, women occupy 41 percent of elected offices in federal, provincial and local governments and over 24 percent in civil service. Total 83 percent of women in Nepal are in labour force.
These achievements are attained through long struggle and persistent constructive efforts.
We can achieve the objectives of the Beijing Declaration by removing gender stereotypes, rectifying long-standing inequalities and matching our commitments with action at national, regional and international levels.
The movement of women's empowerment must continue till we achieve full and substantive equality.
We remain committed to eliminate remnants of discrimination and plug the implementation gaps.
To conclude, I would like to emphasize that gender equality is essential and important right for the continuity of life and the world.
It is the only path to justice, peace, and progress.
This historic occasion is an opportunity to reaffirm our resolve to end barriers in the way of realizing all inherent potentials of women.