The Delegation of European Union and its Member States are fully committed to promote the shared EU pledges to gender equality, women’s and girl’s rights and empowerment in their operations in Nepal. Therefore they have agreed to appoint, in rotation of 6 months, a gender champion who takes the lead in giving impetus to advocating the EU's progressive stance on gender equality and women's human rights.
The EU ambassador to Nepal, H.E Veronica Cody, was the first to take on the role and acted as an EU gender champion from January until July 2019. In this role she has taken every opportunity to speak about the importance of gender equality at various public events, and raise country relevant gender issues in policy dialogue with the host government, civil society, private sector and other stakeholders. Several events were organized in Kathmandu and around the country, to share the messages of gender equality and to highlight best practices. In addition, EU Delegation staff geared up their capacities in mainstreaming gender equality and rights based approach in all of its programmes with additional trainings and discussions, in which European partners and Nepali government counterparts also participated.
On June 26, a joint field visit was organized to Banepa Municipality, where the EU Gender Champion role was passed onto the Ambassador of Finland, Pertti Anttinen, who will champion Gender equality in Nepal as of July 1st until end of 2019. The period also coincides with the Finnish presidency of the Council of the EU. In sign of strong partnership of European partners with UN agencies, the hand-over ceremony was held in the presence of UN Resident Coordinator in Nepal – Ms. Valerie Julliand, Head of UN Women in Nepal – Ms. Wenny Kusuma, Mayor of Banepa Municipality – Mr. Laxmi Narsingh Bade Shrestha and Deputy Mayor – Ms. Rekha Dahal. The participants were also able to interact with local women leaders and entrepreneurs, who shared their experience and impact the "Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment (AWEE) programme", has had on their lives.