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South Asian parliamentarians meet in Kathmandu to consult on equity and girls' education

© UNICEF Nepal/2011
a glimpse of the meet with UNICEF Nepal education expert in the background
Kathmandu, Nepal - A two-day South Asian parliamentarians meet was held in Kathmandu on September 20 to 21 to consult on the issues of equity and girls' education.

Parliamentarians and government officials from Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bhutan and Maldives, and representatives from UNICEF and United Nations Girls Education Initiative (UNGEI) participated the meeting.

The consultation was held to share good practices from the respective countries and specially the success of the campaign led by Nepali Women Constituent Assembly (CA) Members for gender equity and girls' education. The consultation was aimed at developing a common conviction to lessen gender disparity in education.

Inaugurating the workshop, Speaker of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal, Honorable Mr. Shubash Chandra Nembang appreciated the 15-points commitment published by women CA members. He said, "The initiatives of women parliamentarians resulted in the provision of separate toilets for Girls' in school, free and compulsory education, and scholarships for needy children in the policy."
© UNICEF Nepal/2011
UNICEF Nepal representative Ms Hanaa Singer with UNICEF Regional Deputy Director of South Asia, Ms. Laila Ismail Khan

The Minister of Youth and Sports Mrs. Kamala Roka said that the meeting is important because it has pointed out the disparities between girls and boys.

The coordinator of Girls education network and CA member Radha Gyawali urge that the goal of network is to secure education, health, employment and social security for women using the law of positive discrimination and quota systems.

Lawmaker Mrs. Yashodha Subedi Gurung appealed to the parliamentarians to strengthen the campaign to overcome the barriers to equity and girls' education.

The lawmakers showed their strong commitment to secure seats in schools for the excluded children. They also decided to investigate statistics of all excluded children.

UNICEF Regional Deputy Director of South Aisa, Ms. Laila Ismail Khan requested all participants to focus on achieving Millennium Development Goals 2 and 3. She said, "All boys and girls should complete the full cycle of basic education with equal access and opportunity."

The parliamentarians presented on the educational activities and experiences of their respective countries and particular interest was shown towards the gender responsive budget brought to be in practice in Nepal.

The participants also conducted a meeting with President Dr. Rambaran Yadav. The output of the workshop was shared with the President by CA member Mrs. Janak Kumari Chalise. Recognizing the problems of girls' education common in the South Asian Regions, the President suggested strengthening the partnership at the country level as well in public sectors in order to address the common problems of girls' education.

The consultation was jointly organized by women CA members of Nepal and the Ministry of Education of Nepal, supported by UNICEF Country Office Nepal and Regional Office for South Asia, and was coordinated by Educational Pages.



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