Nepal National Dissemination Workshop
Kathmandu, May 2017
Oxfam in Nepal, the advocacy advisory partner for the study in Nepal, along with the ISST and IDS hosted more than 50 delegates representing the Government of Nepal (GoN), INGOs, NGOs, civil societies, independent researchers in ‘Balancing Paid Work and Unpaid Care Work by Women in Nepal, National Dissemination of Workshop’ in Kathmandu on 31st May, 2017.
In this one-day workshop, three panels were organized based on the themes of the research finding - the social organization of care, precarious working conditions of women in unorganized sector, and balancing paid and unpaid work. Each panel consisted of a researcher - presenter from ISST for Nepal, a Chair and two discussants (from Helvetas, KEP, Government of Nepal, etc.) who shared their comments on the findings in the working paper.
Some of the significant discussions revolved around non-recognition of women’s unpaid care work in programme and policies, non-availability of jobs for rural women, low bargaining power, negligible organizing of rural women, limited implementation of policies such as worker safety and insurance as in the case of Karnali Employment Programme, need for disaggregated data for policy change and programme implementation, etc. In the last session of the workshop, a group activity was conducted where in the participants discussed possible policy advocacy strategies that could be taken up in the future.
District Level Dissemination in Nepal
Surkhet Dissemination Workshop
The district dissemination workshop in Birendranagar Municipality of Surkhet was organized on 2 June 2017 by OXFAM in coordination with its local partner Environment Development Society (EDS). The workshop was chaired by the chairperson of EDS, Ms. Netra Regmi whereas; the chief guest of the programme was the newly appointed mayor of Birendranagar municipality, Mr. Dev Prasad Subedi. Other main guests of the programme were newly appointed deputy mayor, Ms. Manmaya Dhakal and Local Development Officer, Mr. Amrit Lamsal. Participants in the workshop included representatives of various local government and non-government organizations.
After introducing the objective of the workshop, Anjam Singh from ISST presented the findings of the Nepal GrOW Study. Thereafter, the audience posed questions and suggestions in relation to methodology and findings of the study.
As way forward, the participants were handed over meta cards and they were asked to write policy advocacy points and learning from the workshop. Many participants highlighted the need of enhancing women’s skills through education and training so that they are not forced to do unskilled and low-paid jobs. A high number of participants also stressed the need of redistribution of unpaid care work between women and men in the family. Some members from local NGOs confirmed that they would hold discussion on the issue of balancing unpaid care and paid work with their stakeholders and design strategies with them to generate a double boon.
In conclusion, the chief guest congratulated the researchers and Oxfam for highlighting a crucial issue like that unpaid care work, though discussed in informal platforms, had not been recognized and mainstreamed in the development policy design and implementation level. He assured that from the next fiscal year, he will look at the policies and programmes through the lens of unpaid care work in order to optimize women’s economic empowerment in the area.
Jumla Dissemination Workshop
Oxfam organized the District level dissemination workshop in Jumla on 4 June 201, in coordination with Collaborative Action Dignity (CAD), a local NGO working on human rights issue in Karnali region. Various stakeholders from local government, representatives of KEP and KEPTA offices and non-government organizations attended the workshop. The workshop was chaired by the Local Development Officer, Mr. Hari Narayan Belbase and the newly appointed deputy-mayor of Chandannath, Ms. Apsaradevi Neupane Mahat was invited as the chief guest for the workshop. Mr. Dilliraj Upadhyaya, OXFAM representative, reflected on the disproportionate workload, women of Jumla have to bear in both unpaid care and paid work and highlighted the importance of the research findings for the issue of unpaid care work to be incorporated in women’s empowerment policies and programmes. Thereafter, Anjam Singh, research consultant from ISST presented the findings from the Nepal GrOW study which was followed by discussion from the audience which included queries and clarifications about the study as well as suggestions for more rigorous analysis and recommendation for future study.
As way forward, the participants were handed over meta cards and they were asked to write policy advocacy points and learning from the workshop. Most of the participants highlighted the need of women’s increased participation in policy-making and leadership positions. Some of the other recommendations included creation of decent employment opportunities for women, inclusion of unpaid care work in relevant laws and policies, inter-department coordination, establishment of child care centers, insurance policies for KEP workers, and focus on productive work rather than on subsistence livelihood.
The Deputy Mayor lauded the research team for conducting the research on such an important issue. She stated that women have disproportionate responsibility of unpaid care work everywhere in Nepal but more so in Jumla owing to rigid gender norms, lack of public service provisions as well as acute poverty. She remarked that as both the newly elected Mayor and deputy Mayor of Jumla are women, they would try their best to give priority to women’s issues including unpaid care work burden, child marriage and Chhaupadi. She said that she would like to sit and discuss with the OXFAM team to gain better understanding of the issue and identify ways to take the issue forward.