Macroeconomic policies play important role for promoting gender equality

21 Aug 2012

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The Hon'ble Vice Chair of the National Planning Commission (NPC), Hon'ble Members of the NPC, the Governor of the Nepal Rastra Bank (Central Reserve Bank of Nepal), Chief Secretary and 12 Secretaries engaged in an in-depth discussion on gender and macroeconomic policy management during a 2-day high level interaction programme on 20-21 August 2012, organized by the National Planning Commission with support from Strengthening Planning and Monitoring Capacity of NPC project/UNDP Nepal and UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Centre, Bangkok. Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada, Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank, Mr. Krishna Hari Banskota, Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Dr. A. Haroon Akram-Lodhi, Professor, Trent University, Canada made presentations covering various topics related to gender and macroeconomic policies.

The objective of this workshop was to establish a common understanding of gender dimensions of macroeconomic policies among high level policy makers and also to sensitize them about the importance of macroeconomic policies in promoting gender equality.   
This workshop is part of UNDP’s Gender and Economic Policy Management Initiative (GEPMI) developed in 2010 in collaboration with leading international experts with the objective to respond to countries’ specific development planning needs, and to provide senior and middle level government policy makers hands-on skills to enable them to address the most critical gender issues in all aspects of economic planning and management.

Hon'ble Vice-Chair of the NPC, Mr. Deependra Bahadur Kshetry said, "I felt enlightened more than before on macroeconomic issues from gender perspective particularly the importance of unpaid care work to economic growth.”

In his comprehensive presentation on this topic, Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada emphasized the role of macroeconomic policies in empowering women and promoting gender equality. He also suggested to perform in-depth analysis of intra-household dynamics to have better understanding of the interaction between economic growth and gender concerns which might help identify concrete policy measures to promote economic growth and gender equality simultaneously.

The Chief Secretary of the Government of Nepal Mr. Leelamani Paudyal highlighted the  importance of gender mainstreaming into national development process and also suggested the Secretaries to pay high attention to gender issues in policy making and programme interventions. Mr. Krishna Hari Baskota, Secretary of Ministry of Finance, presented the various efforts being made by the Government of Nepal for gender equality including the application of Gender Responsive Budgeting tool to make budget allocation more gender responsive.

Robert Piper, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, in his closing remarks, pointed out the various competing priorities such as poverty, gender equality, and climate change that the Government of Nepal has to tackle and therefore stressed the need to have policy measures that have multiple returns. He also suggested strengthening horizontal collaboration among sectors for effective gender mainstreaming in development planning and monitoring.

This event is followed by a two and a half-day workshop on gender and macroeconomics for Joint Secretaries on 21-23 August 2012.