Nepal has seen a substantial increase in women joining civil service in the recent years, but their participation is low in the higher posts. Among few, Chandrakala Poudel is an exemplary figure in the civil service who has been working at the Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation as a Joint Secretary. poudel, who grew up witnessing discrimination to women and daughters in the society, was a bright student who always stood ahead of boys in her school. Later, she not just topped the University in Intermediate Level, but also won the Aishwarya Education Medal established in the name of the then Royal Queen. Chandrakala Poudel is clear regarding her duties and responsibilities. At a time when the bureaucratic services and processes are often termed as slow and complicated, Poudel deals with service seekers in a straight forward way and helps them throughout until they are satisfied. "I am putting the best efforts to provide service as per my capacity. Sometimes, I am unable to implement the tasks in lack of policy support, which makes me sad," she shares the ground reality.

Poudel, who is entrusted with responsibility of two areas Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation, expresses that all three pillars of her ministry are directly related with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). "My daily works, policy inputs and opinions are always related to the sustainable development. The ministry has even created an action plan to make the SDG related works more concrete and effective," she informs. Stating that the 15th Periodic Plan of the country has estimated the mobilization of additional resources to achieve the SDGs, the joint secretary informs that their policies are focused on creating employment opportunities and increasing investment. With the ongoing developments, she is hopeful that the country would achieve SDGs by 2030, which could raise the life standards of Nepali people.

The ministry has been working with various organizations including United Nations Development Fund whose knowledge and expertise have helped them in creating better policies, according to her. She is highly impressed by their tools of policy implementation, decision making and way of reaching communities, and believes that partnership has supported in increasing the quality of ministry's service delivery. "SDG is a great commitment from the country at the international level. As a citizen and a government employee, I am fully committed to fulfill SDGs," Poudel shares her determination.

Chandrakala Poudel believes that Nepali women should be empowered politically, and their capacity should be strengthened in social, economical and educational fronts. For the same, she points out the role of society and family who should join hands and come together to support women in enhancing their capacity. Her message to the Nepali women is simple, "It's not just about a single area, create your presence in each and every sector." As someone in the higher and recognized post, she wishes to inspire and empower Nepali women in a right direction.


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