KATHMANDU: The Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) Women Leadership Forum began the ‘Women’s Leadership Summit 23′ in Kathmandu, on Saturday.
Inaugurating the two-day international summit, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal emphasized the importance of women’s participation in every sector of society. He shared that the country is moving towards building an equitable society by prioritising women’s participation in every activity of the society including political leadership.
He said, “An equitable society can be built only in the participation of women in every sector including education, health, environment and social service. Equal representation of women is necessary at the policymaking level by involving them in political leadership.”
PM Dahal said the constitution has guaranteed a certain percentage of women’s participation in different bodies of the government, and added adequate amount of budget and resources have been allocated for the empowerment of women.
The prime minister mentioned that the Constitution has made it mandatory that there should be 33% participation of women in parliament. The representation of women at local levels is now more than 41% in the country, he said and highlighted that this political participation of women is more as compared to other countries.”
The prime minister also laid emphasis on the need of increasing women’s participation in the economic sector and entrepreneurship development.
Similarly, Industrialist and lawmaker Binod Chaudhary said the issue of women’s empowerment is also becoming the mainstream along with different political changes. Remembering that Bidya Devi Bhandari had worked as the President, Onsari Gharti as House Speaker and Sushila Karki as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he mentioned that women have taken leadership of multi-national companies like Walmart.
Chaudhary further expressed his belief that businesses run under women’s leadership were more organised and systematic, stating that there are many examples that women are brilliant in leadership. He claimed that women were ahead as compared to men in many ways and argued that there should be no comparison between the two.
CNI President Vishnu Kumar Agarwal said that women, who were once limited to household chores, are assuming important roles in various sectors at present. He stated that women are equally competitive in the professional sector due to the development of leadership among women and added CNI had played an important role in the field of gender equality. Agarwal called for additional efforts to develop women’s entrepreneurship.
The CNI President lamented that although Nepal Rastra Bank provides loans up to Rs 2 million to women entrepreneurs without collateral, only a negligible number of beneficiaries are availing of it.
Similarly, Arnaud Cauchois, Asian Development Bank’s Country Director for Nepal, lauded that Nepal has achieved a significant result in terms of women empowerment and equality. He stated that the ADB has emphasized gender equality in its programmes and projects, and articulated his readiness for further collaboration for this cause.
Likewise, Chhaya Sharma, Chairperson of the Women’s Leadership Forum under CNI, shared that the summit has been organised to deliberate on the adverse impact of Covid 19 pandemic on women entrepreneurs as well as to seek solutions.
She expressed that the two-day international summit would serve as a platform to exchange ideas among the women leaders and to formulate common strategies, share success stories and motivate fellow women entrepreneurs among others.
The summit had several panel discussions revolving around business, women’s empowerment, and politics. The business section focused on business leadership was moderated by Santona Malakar. The panellists included Ameya Prabhu, Founder and Managing Director of NAFA Capital Advisors, Archana Bhatnagar, Managing Director of Haylide Chemicals and President of Madhya Pradesh Association of Women Entrepreneurs India (MAWE India), Dr Prativa Pandey, Founder and CEO of Herveda Botanicals and Catalyst Technology; and Ajit Bikram Shah, Director and CEO of Lotus Holdings.
The political section focused on the female political career was moderated by Yubaraj Ghimire. Panellists included Kathmandu Metropolitan City Deputy Mayor Sunita Dangol, lawmaker Sumana Shrestha of Rastriya Swatantra Party, leader Khusbu Oli and Bina Basnet, Co-founder of Hamro Sikkim Party.
The panel — Women’s empowerment in rural Nepal- success stories from the provinces, their challenges and opportunities — was moderated by Sajana Amatya along with four panellists — Arpana Pradhan Bhandary, FWEAN (Province 3) Executive Member; Mina Kumari Phulara, FWEAN (Province 7) member, Saraswati Sharma, FWEAN (Province 5) member, and Girija Chittlangia Sharda, CNI Board Member (Province 1).
Similarly, CNI Vice President Nirvana Chaudhary moderated a panel discussion fireside with Jaivir Singh, Vice chairman of PwC India Foundation.
The panel discussions were informative, thorough, and engaging. There were insightful conversations among experts who brought unique perspectives to the topics.
The two-day international summit being held at the Soaltee Kathmandu will conclude in the evening today.