|A range of extensive research on the status of women migrant workers, including returnees, has already been conducted by UN agencies, development partners and civil society organizations in Nepal, including the NCO study “Returning Home: Challenges and Opportunities for Women Migrant Workers in the Nepali Labour Market” in 2017. The NCO, through its ongoing collaboration with the National Women Commission, is also supporting the monitoring report on the status of the implementation of the CEDAW Concluding Observations (COs) to GoN. In the CEDAW COs, Paragraph 36 and 37 focus on the status of women migrant workers. The monitoring report will include a status update on the issues of women migrant workers in line with the CEDAW COs.
Results and findings of the existing research and knowledge products will inform NCO to better understand the issues of women migration, its effect on social dimension.
In addition, as a member of UNCT’s Taskforce on Migration, the NCO will take forward key joint actions agreed by the taskforce in close collaboration with the taskforce member agencies.
||The capacity of the National Women’s Commission (NWC) to effectively monitor the implementation of state commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE) was further strengthened, particularly in line with the implementation of CEDAW Concluding Observations (COs), 2018. The preparation of 13 sets of monitoring questionnaires was developed by the NWC Technical Expert with the funding support of UN Women, as part of the “Support to the National Women’s Machinery to Monitor the Implementation of the CEDAW Concluding Observations” project. Under the leadership of the NWC, the government and key stakeholders developed the “CEDAW Concluding Observations (CO) Monitoring Framework” tool in a highly consultative manner that involved the federal, provincial and local governments. The tool was successfully used to generate data and evidence for the Report on the Implementation of COs, which was published and disseminated by NWC. UN Women provided technical inputs during the design and finalization of the tool. The tool was successfully used to generate data and evidence for the Report on the Implementation of COs, which was published and disseminated by NWC. UN Women provided technical inputs during the design and finalization of the tool. Through UN Women’s coordination, the Report was also presented by NWC to UN agencies working on governance and human rights. This result was attained through UN Women’s technical, funding, coordination and normative support to the NWC to fulfil its mandate to monitor the implementation of CEDAW.
. With regard to the four recommendations under ‘Women migrant workers’ in the CEDAW COs, 2018, 37 (a) (b) (c) (d), two recommendations are in the process of implementation and two recommendations have not been implemented.
The challenges of returnee migrant women workers have also been included in the weekly situation reports to the Humanitarian Country Team as well as in the Gender Equality updates. Moreover, one of the Gender in Humanitarian Action (GIHA) Task Team meetings organized by UN Women NCO was focused on livelihood and reintegration of returnee women migrant workers. NCO has participated in all Nepal Migration Group and UNCT’s Taskforce on Migration. One of the key recommendations made by UN Women to this group, was to advocate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue guidance to all diplomatic missions to ensure access to information for women migrant workers in their destination countries in line with the guidance note on CEDAW and COVID-19. NCO continued to invest in strengthening the evidence-based research on migration.
As part of the Country Gender Equality Profile (CGEP) being developed by the NCO, one of the sub-themes under the chapter on Women’s Economic Security Rights is on Women Migrant Workers. The CGEP will analyse the rationale for women choosing migration; the opportunities for agency and autonomy; challenges and hardships they endure; their contributions to GDP through remittances from overseas/cross-border work migration. The CGEP will be finalised after final review by the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen in the third quarter of 2022. Additionally, with NCO’s technical and financial support a Rapid Gender Assessment (RGA) was conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens, Care Nepal and Save the Children. Some of the key findings are: vulnerable group finding difficulty in assessing basic services; women daily wage-workers and women migrant workers are among the hardest hit by COVID-19 situation; migrant workers facing stigma and discrimination and being accused for spreading COVID-19; and the pandemic is likely to aggravate food insecurity among the existing vulnerable groups, such as landless women, women-headed households with no savings, returnee women migrant workers and single women owing to loss of income. UN Women NCO is using the findings and recommendations from the RGA in new proposals, COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan 2021, guidelines, and checklists. The Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen has been following up with other key line ministries on the implementation of recommendation. Two initial meetings with the key line ministries were held in 2021.
With in-kind support from UN Women, women’s organizations particularly Women for Human Rights, Single Women Group (WHR), Aprawashi Mahila Kamdar Samuha Nepal (AMKAS Nepal) and Pourakhi Nepal have provided shelter support to returnee women migrant workers. The shelter homes of WHR and AMKAS Nepal were particularly used for quarantine sites. These two organizations were able to provide their space to returnee women migrant workers from diverse backgrounds such as pregnant and lactating mothers. Pourakhi Nepal also supported returnee women migrant workers who were not accepted by their family members and had difficulty in living in the same household. These three organizations also provided psychosocial support to these women.
During the development process of the UN Framework for Responding to the Socio-Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Nepal, migrant workers (including returnee) were consulted. This evidence has allowed for tailored solutions to respond to specific needs and necessities created by the COVID-19 crisis. Further, the Framework emphasizes the challenges faced by vulnerable and marginalized populations, and the response to provide, ensuring no one is left behind. In 2020, a series of advocacy activities were carried out by the women’s groups with policymakers. These groups drafted a Memorandum on Protecting the Rights of Women Domestic Workers and submitted it to the Hon’ble Minister of Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, Hon’ble Minister of Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens and National Human Rights Commission for necessary actions. After the submission, a press meet was held on 18 June 2021 with media persons, women leaders, experts and organizations working on issues of gender and migration. The key issues highlighted were the need for registration of domestic workers at the Foreign Employment Board to ensure their entitlements and positioning them as respected and dignified labour migrant workers.
Additionally, the Women Friendly Disaster Management (WFDM) Group; The Inter-Generational Feminist Thought Leaders’ Group; and Women Humanitarian and Disaster Risk Reduction Platform, in their Charter of Demand, has identified issues of women migrant workers as a key priority among others and called on the Government of Nepal to consider these issues in its COVID-19 response. The Charter of Demands was developed with support from UN Women in collaboration with National Administrative Staff College (NASC); and NCO also supported women’s groups to monitor the implementation of the Charter. The Federal Government expressed its commitment to ensure increased budgeting for gender and inclusion issues (GESI) during the pre-budget consultation organised by the NASC with members of federal parliament and relevant ministries on 21 May 2021. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development also acknowledged the effort of UN Women and NASC and shared their commitment to take forward the recommendations from the CoDs.