Despite the fact that the people’s movements saw the engagement of large numbers of  women, the current peace building processes have largely excluded women from participation and decision making. Women have been disproportionally affected by years of conflict whether through compulsion of replacing men as household heads or through loss of family members, property and most importantly through acts of violence. In addition, the treatment of “women as a category of gender” by existing patriarchal institutions play a pivotal role in the general status of the “exclusion of women” and the present status of their underdeveloped human capability.

To address the challenges of women issues, ASD is facilitating the Open Society Foundations-International Women’s Program’s grant-making to support national organizations working in the following areas:

  • Reducing discrimination and violence against women
  • Strengthening women’s access to Justice
  • Women’s Empowerment and Capacity Building

IWP has worked in Nepal in close cooperation with ASD since 2007. Up till now, IWP has mostly supported national-level, Kathmandu-based projects, while ASD has supported smaller women’s issues initiatives in the provinces through its Human Rights program. IWP has designated Nepal as one of its focus countries and assigned significant resources for projects there. Both ASD and IWP have concluded that the greatest need for these resources lies outside of the capital, as Kathmandu-based organizations typically already receive substantial support from numerous foreign donors active in Nepal. A solution was thus sought on how best to combine ASD’s local knowledge with IWP’s resources and expertise to bring IWP outside of Kathmandu and into the provinces of Nepal. In May 2010, IWP and ASD together created a new Program Officer position at ASD to develop and look after IWP’s portfolio in Nepal. For more on IWP’s work, please visit http://www.soros.org/initiatives/women/about.