Gender Equality and Social Inclusion
Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) is an attempt to eliminate the discrimination enforced by society based on the biological differences between male and female. However, eliminating gender inequality does not mean making man and women same but that the rights and responsibilities they are assigned will not depend on whether they are men or women. The culmination of historical discrimination prescribed by patriarchal society is visible in lower representation of women in social, economic and political domain throughout the world and globally attempts has been made to mainstream women and other marginalized groups in all sectors.
Nepal being the member of United Nation has signed on various international conventions for protecting and promoting human and women rights. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Millennium Development Goal (MDG), Convention on Elimination of All kinds of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), ILO Convention 169, and other international instruments are the major commitments made by Nepal Government. To institutionalize GESI, GESI guideline is prepared and focal GESI unit is established by line ministries of Nepal.
To address GESI from non-government sector, similar attempts have been made by Namsaling Community Development Center (NCDC) with the aim of promoting equality within organization and in its programs. The vision of sustainable development can only be achieved by equitable and meaningful participation of people of all gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity in all phases of project formulation.
The journey that began on Namsaling, a rural village of Ilam, has today extended its roots to western and central Nepal as well. NCDC is dedicated to direct local communities to take initiative to improve the quality of life through equitable and sustainable development since 1985. Since its inception, NCDC has been ensuring the participation of women and other marginalized groups in its programs and organizational structure.
Gender equality and social inclusion is important to build positive workplace culture as it encourages diversity, innovation and prosperity of family and nation. With the aim of mainstreaming GESI in its program and within organization, NCDC Gender Mainstreaming Strategy 2013 was formulated after the thorough consultation with executive board, management team, staff and donor organizations. The main objective of this strategy is to provide guidance on integrating gender equality in all aspects of NCDC policies, structures, and project/program implementation. NCDC has formed a separate Gender Equality Committee to monitor effective implementation of the gender mainstreaming strategies. Good Governance, Environment, Sustainable Agriculture, Renewable Energy, Environment-Health-Education and GESI are five sectors on which NCDC is currently working and GESI cross-cuts strategy in each of these sectors.
NCDC as a Regional Service Center (RSC) of Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC), is implementing project related to renewable energy technologies in eastern Nepal. As the partner organization, NCDC prioritize the commitment of Nepal Government to mainstream GESI in the energy sector by providing equal access to Renewable Energy Technologies (RET) to rural women and men.
Likewise, as a long standing partner of DF Norway, NCDC committedly integrated GESI as a cross cutting strategy in Sustainable Development Planning Project (SDPP) and has continued to integrated it in Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP) which is also funded by DF. NCDC, as a GESI focal organization for DF, is supporting partner organizations of DF in Nepal for their GESI related capacity building by
- capacitating the board members and project staff about GESI
- conducting organizational GESI Audit
- formulation of GESI Action Plan
NCDC has appointed full time female staff bearing responsibility for being the contact person for gender-related issues. She is also responsible to manage online GESI database developed to store disaggregated data from the projects implemented by NCDC. In 2018, NCDC plans to expand the use of database to two other partners of DF. At the organizational level, NCDC has been conducting GESI friendly practices by
- Encouraging women to apply for the job by mentioning explicitly in the job advertisement.
- Equal pay for equal work value of male and female.
- Providing gender sensitization trainings to executive board members and other general members and staffs.