Elected local representatives of Lalitpur municipality pledged to make the municipal and ward offices more gender inclusive in the decision making process. As part of promoting gender and social inclusion within the local government, Lalitpur municipality with support from UNDP organized a workshop in Lalitpur on 20 December.

On the final day of three-day workshop on Gender Equality and Social Inclusion within the local level, the elected representatives also unanimously agreed to engender municipal and ward level budgets to finance gender and social inclusion actions.

The participants at workshop discussed the prevalence of gender-based violence issue in Nepal in line with the existing laws and policies. The participants also discoursed on the conceptual clarity of the gender equality and social inclusion and assured to facilitate in the formation of the self-help and peer support groups within the Lalitpur municipality in accordance with the international frameworks. Similarly, discussions were carried out on Sustainable Development Goals, the Agenda 2030 and other international commitments relevant to advancing gender equality and social inclusion.

“There is a need for specific budget allocated for gender equality and social inclusion in the new arrangement of governance” said Gita Satyal, Deputy Mayor of Lalitpur Metropolitan City, addressing the workshop. “We realize the need for awareness on gender and social inclusion among our elected representatives starting from budget allocation for these activities. This is a good start to an important dialogue.” added Satyal. She also stressed on the need to conduct such workshop across the country focusing on gender and inclusion issues at the local level.

The common queries of the participants at the workshop revolved around the importance of gender equality and social inclusion, gender-based violence, gender and social inclusion on grassroots level and the need to work directly with the community on gender issues among others. Participants also emphasized on three behavioral levels- individual, social and government for the implementation of gender equality and social inclusion.

Issues concerning existing quota system for gender inclusiveness, the need of data collection from the grassroots, proper coordination among city a ward officials, need to conduct thematic based workshop on violence against women, practical session on how to handle complex situations, changing stereotype and procedures related to daily work were debated and discussed among the participants. The workshop was the first of its kind initiated by Lalitpur Metropolitan City with support from UNDP.

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