UNDP Bhutan’s Environment portfolio completes its gender mainstreaming objectives
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16 April 2014, Paro: Over the past two days UNDP concluded its last phase in the gender mainstreaming initiative for its energy and environment portfolio. Five projects were identified in 2012 in the startup phase making them suitable for the gender mainstreaming effort. The workshop was attended by both government and non-government organization counterparts involved in this initiative since 2012.
UNDP’s Karma L Rapten said, “We are now past the stage of training men and women. Today we need to focus on the project’s impact at the community level and report on the changes in people’s attitudes – which will reflect real accomplishment.”
During the session, the participants revisited gender and energy-environment-climate change concepts and applications, prepared write-shop objectives, presentation of information and alternative communication outputs and brainstorming best processes for the projects. The objective of the write shop was to translate project work into communicable gender results reporting.
Phuntsok Choden, national consultant said, “When we talk about changing project activities to include gender dimensions, we become agents of change.” Further adding that traditional gender roles should not restrict men and women from earning livelihoods and becoming empowered.
A key highlight during the presentations was made by Dago Zangmo, from the Ministry of Works and Human Settlements. She presented the Disaster and Climate Resilient Construction Project which is supported by UNDP and US Agency for International Development (USAID). The project saw over 70 women from the rural communities across Bhutan and more than sixty women engineers and technicians trained in earthquake resilient construction techniques for safer homes.
Dago Zangmo said, “This was the first training which targeted women who are usually not involved in the line of construction. Today this can become an alternate career option for Bhutanese women who are unemployed and build better lives.”
Soma Dutta, international consultant on gender said, “One year has passed since initiation of the projects and documentation of experiences is critical for the way forward. It may be early to get impacts, but it is important to pull together diverse experiences.” Further adding that gender mainstreaming is an evolutionary process that needs time and joint effort for real success.
Over twenty participants presented the lessons learned, spanning achievements and challenges since 2012 and shared how the gender mainstreaming experience changed the way they work. The work compiled at the write shop will be featured in newsletters, reports and the UNDP website.
The 2014 Gender Write Shop is the third and the final in a series of gender mainstreaming efforts initiated by UNDP’s environment portfolio in Bhutan.
For more on project activities:
Karma L. Rapten
Energy, Environment & Disaster Management Unit
Sonam Tsoki Tenzin