Gender and Social Inclusion Policy
Paropakar Primary Health Care Centre (PPUK), Kavre
Paropakar Primary Health Care Centre (PPUK), Kavre
Nepal is a county of diversity. National Census 2001 has identified 103 caste and ethnic groups in Nepal. These caste and ethnic groups belongs to different race, religion, language, culture and geographical location. Because of a person or group’s association with certain sex, race, culture, religion, geographical location or physical status have brought them to the situation of social exclusion. Ministry of Local Development defines social exclusion as “the situation of the groups or communities that have become backward or have been made backward for years due to discrimination or the ground of castes, ethnicities, tribes or nationalities, sex, disability, age and religion since the pace of social development” and categorizes “women, Dalits, indigenous nationalities, Madhesis, Muslims, children below the age of 16 years, senior citizens above the age of 60 years, persons with disability and people living in geographically remote area” under the socially excluded groups.
Gender equality is the absence of discrimination on the basis of gender in opportunities, in the allocation of resources or benefits, or in access to services. It is the full and equal exercise by men and women of their human rights. Gender mainstreaming is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in any area and at all levels. It is a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experience an integral dimension in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and social spheres, such that inequality between men and women is not perpetuated.
Similarly, by social inclusion we mean two things. First, the making ‘rules of the game’ more fair. Put more precisely: the removal of institutional barriers and the enhancement of incentives to increase the access of diverse individuals and groups to development opportunities. These barriers may be formal (written laws on spousal property, for instance), or they may be informal. Secondly, the meaning of social inclusion is about social analysis and disaggregation of social groups. Social inclusion is one of the four pillars of the Nepal Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP)/Tenth Plan (2002-2007). PRSP recognizes the need for reducing socio-economic disparity through gender equity and empowerment measures and to mainstream gender, ethnic and caste-related issues in the design of key programs. The Three Year Interim Plan (2006/07-2009/10) also carried the spirit of PRSP.
It has ensured at least 33% representation of women in state affairs, scrapping discriminatory laws, introducing a gender management system and gender mainstreaming in the macro-economic framework, and giving women greater access to and control over natural resources. Similarly, Three Year Interim has adopted inclusive development process as the one of the major strategy. The Three Year Plan Approach Paper (2010/11-2012/13) continued to focus on the socially excluded groups and taken inclusive and equitable development as the strategy to uplift the living standard of excluded groups. Furthermore, Three Years Plan Approach Paper recognizes the past efforts have not been so effective to build an equitable society in Nepal by eliminating the regional, class-based, caste-based and other social discriminations.
So, it recommends support in building the developing society by ensuring the just and rational partnership in means and resources through the participation of all and by recognizing the identification and specialties of all narrowing down the gap in available opportunities and access and eliminating the inequality between deprived and excluded areas, classes, gender, communities and the groups and the areas enjoying the facilities thereby addressing the need of the time.
Gender and social inclusion raises the issue of equal and meaningful participation in decision making, access and control over resources, benefit sharing, condition and position enhancement of socially excluded groups and so on. Issues of socially excluded groups are addressed through social inclusion. The Interim Constitution of Nepal (2007) has recognized the Right to Equality and Right to Social Justice of women, indigenous nationalities (Adivasi Janajati), Dalits, Madheshi community, oppressed group, poor peasant and labourers in Article 12 and 21 respectively. The Constitution asserts that their participation must be ensured through making special measures and following principle of proportionate representation for their inclusion. Directive principle also reaffirms to eliminate the discrimination and disparity through policy formation and elimination of discriminatory policies.
In this context, our policy will be as follows.
a) Gender and social inclusion (GSI) will be a key focus of any development programs/projects of PPUK. In this regard, it will adopt employment centric, equitable and inclusive development as its objective.
b) It will highly emphasize on mainstreaming the GSI at different levels of NGO’s program activities - from intervention to impact levels.
c) The project will realize the need of addressing issues relating to GSI such as equal and meaningful participation in decision making processes, access and control over resources, benefit sharing and expanding economic opportunities, condition and position enhancing of women, Dalits, Adivasi Janajati and poor.
d) PPUK will value diversity, emphasize equal rights and status of women, indigenous, and other cultural groups and will aim to address issues of rights of those who are excluded because of their cultural identity or historical processes for equitable representation at all levels of developmental works and governance.
e) It will incorporate equity as a critical element of its strategy by creating sensitivity and awareness of inequality issues in every sphere.
f) The issue of marginalized, vulnerable and women groups will be tackled by the project having necessary safeguards and promotional elements in every activity and with compulsory participation by them in user groups and committees. The planning framework of the project will demand the promotion of these group of people’s participation at all levels of project implementation. The rationale for increasing their participation is more far reaching than just a numerical expression of their participation. The active participation of deprived groups in all facets of project activities would gradually lead them to a state of empowerment through their economic growth and path of social transformation.
g) Persistent gender inequalities hinder development, especially for girls and women. The organization will incorporate gender equity as a critical element of its strategy by creating sensitivity and awareness of gender issues in the economic, social and legal spheres.
h) The organization will adopt the policy of Gender equity thereby incorporating them in project portfolios and management.
i) Likewise, the organization will adopt its policy of including the deprived and excluded groups and sections of population in its organizational set, decision levels, recruitment process and basic service delivery systems.
j) It has its policy of providing common space and reservation.
k) Affirmative action or distributive justice is related to the wider agenda of inclusion with political ramification. The organization will give priority to affirmative action and distributive justice valuing diversity, emphasizing equal rights and status of women, indigenous, and other cultural groups and has been aiming to address issues of rights of those who are excluded because of their cultural identity or historical processes for equitable representation in the organizational board, staffing and at all levels of developmental works and governance.
l) Significant numbers of excluded groups and sections of population will be directly benefited by the organization and by its development programs.