Press Release

Empowered Women, Prosperous Nepal Programme Joins Global 16 Days of Activism Campaign to Prevent Gender-Based Violence

08 December 2023

The Joint Programme of the Government of Nepal, European Union and the United Nations

Empowered Women, Prosperous Nepal

8 December 2023

Janakpur, 8 Dec 2023 – The Government of Nepal, the Delegation of the European Union in Nepal and the United Nations, through their Joint Programme ‘Empowered Women Prosperous Nepal,’ organized a joint event aligned with the global theme of "Unite: Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women & Girls" for this year's 16 Days of Activism Campaign Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

Four women and one man are seated on a platform, engaged in a policy dialogue focused on investing in the prevention of Gender-Based Violence. In the foreground, several individuals are seated, facing the stage, attentively listening to the discussion on this important topic.
Caption: A policy discussion led by Ms. Rita Sah, Author, focusing on investing in the prevention of Gender-Based Violence. The panelists include Ms. Devu KC, Under Secretary at the Ministry of Sports and Social Welfare; Ms. Kalapana Chaudhary, Vice Chair of Krishnasavaran Agnisair Rural Municipality in Saptari district; Ms. Sunaina Thakur, Entrepreneur in Mithila Art, representing the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce (FNCCI); and Rabindra Mahato from the Youth Network in Madhesh. From right to left, they engage in an intense discussion on investing in the prevention of Gender-Based Violence.
Photo: © EWPN

The event was graced by the presence of the Honorable Chair of Parliamentary of Women Children and Social Justice Ms. Rupa Yadav; the Deputy Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union, Ms Eloisa Astudillo Fernandez; and on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator in Nepal, Ms. Patricia Fernandez Pacheco, UN Women Representative. Attendees included representatives from the Provincial and Local Governments, the EU, representatives of United Nations agencies, civil society, policymakers, private sector entities and youth from Madhesh Province. The event fostered interactions among policymakers, locally elected women representatives, private sector entities, gender equality advocates youth, and civil society with an aim to understand ground realities and gather diverse perspectives on addressing gender-based violence.

"Despite strides in gender-based violence prevention and equality efforts, challenges persist," said Rupa Yadav, Chair of Parliamentary of Women Children and Social Justice. " Out of the 753 local levels in the country, only 115 municipalities have established the GBV prevention fund, signaling the necessity to expand its coverage. This gap highlights the disparity between promised legal rights and women's actual access to and benefit from these crucial funds. There's a pressing need to expand the coverage of the GBV prevention fund across local levels."

The joint event in Madhesh Province aligns with the global 16 Days of Activism Campaign, focusing on investing in the prevention of violence against women and girls and ensuring they can live lives free of violence and harassment. Highlighted by a Forum Theatre, the event emphasized positive masculinity and men's role in preventing GBV. In addition, a policy discussion gathered diverse stakeholders to garner commitments for increased investments in preventing GBV. This dialogue aimed to promote women's rights and equality through legislative actions, economic empowerment initiatives, and strengthening institutional frameworks. Furthermore, it aimed to bridge the gap between policies and effective GBV prevention services.

GBV is rooted in multifaceted factors, like economic disparities and entrenched cultural norms," stated Eloisa Astudillo Fernandez, Deputy Head of Cooperation from the European Union. "A proactive approach integrating GBV prevention and responses, as well as promoting equality, is essential and the European Union is committed to support the Government of Nepal in the investment in the prevention of Gender Based Violence."

The event highlighted the importance of public and private investments in preventing GBV, advocating for sustainable contributions to women's rights organizations. It also emphasized the critical role of workplace policies in ensuring women's economic security and safety.

"Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) presents a global concern that transcends borders and necessitates immediate collective efforts. Nepal's commitment to diminish physical/sexual violence by 6.5% among women aged 15-49 by 2030 signifies significant progress, yet effective planning and strategic investment in GBV prevention at every provincial level are imperative. It is imperative to disrupt unequal power dynamics governing women's bodies. To combat VAWG, let us take a united stance, raise awareness, allocate specific budgets, bolster support for women's organizations, and advocate for workplace policies ensuring the safety and economic stability of women," stated Patricia Fernandez Pacheco, UN Women Representative, speaking on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator in Nepal.

The event culminated with the ministry representatives and agency leaders signing a commemorative plaque, joined by government representatives, private sector delegates, civil society organizations, and youth, affirming their commitment to invest in the prevention of GBV. The event notably highlighted investments in women's organizations, legislative measures, prosecuting perpetrators, and enhancing survivor services as focal points.

A young girl holds a microphone and speaks while being surrounded by a group of young individuals seated on chairs, attentively listening to her.
Caption: A member of the youth group, a young girl, inquiring about the local government's plans regarding investments in preventing Gender-Based Violence to the panelist.
Photo: © EWPN
Two women and one man are standing on the stage, transferring the signed commitment plaque to the man. In the background, a boy and a girl stand on a podium, facing the audience.
Caption: The officials from the government, United Nations, and the European Union collectively affirmed their commitment to combat Gender-Based Violence by signing a dedication plaque. The UN Women representative, on behalf of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Patricia Fernandez Pacheco (middle) and the Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation in Nepal, Ms. Eloisa Astudillo (mid-right) handing over the plaque to Secretary of the Ministry of Sports and Social Welfare, Mr. Chudamani Phuyal (left).
Photo: © EWPN



About Empowered Women, Prosperous Nepal Joint Programme:

Empowered Women, Prosperous Nepal is a collaborative initiative by the Government of Nepal, the European Union, and the United Nations, aimed at promoting gender equality, empowering women, and fostering inclusive growth in Nepal. This joint initiative also seeks to challenge harmful social norms, empower women, and promote political participation despite the prevailing challenges faced by elected women representatives.

For further information, please contact:

Ambar Mainali, Delegation of the European Union to Nepal,

Simrika Sharma, United Nations Information Centre,

Smriti Kamar, United Nations Joint Programme Coordination Unit,



Profile photo of Simrika, RCO. Woman with dark hair and a blue blouse in front of the UN symbol.

Simrika Sharma

National Information Officer

UN entities involved in this initiative

European Union
International Labour Organization
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Children’s Fund

Goals we are supporting through this initiative