Symposium Report: EMPOWERING WOMEN IN RURAL HIMALAYAN COMMUNITIES
The focus of Norlha’s symposium on women’s empowerment in rural Himalayan communities came about as a result of the 2014 symposium (on Agricultural communities of the Himalayas), which highlighted the importance of gender as a cross cutting issue and the subsequent importance of female empowerment and gender equality. In response to this, in Lausanne Norlha convened a wide range of development and academic partners as well as government representatives to share their experience, lessons learnt and to help develop recommendations on the topic.
This is a particularly pertinent topic within development given the increasing recognition of the need to promote female empowerment as a way to effectively address poverty.
Organizations represented at symposium included University of Zurich, Center for Development and Environment (CDE – Univ. of Bern), International Institute for Management Development (IMD), the Bhutanese embassy, the Nepalese embassy, Terre des hommes, Helvetas, Norlha, AIWC, and the Non-Resident Nepali Association. Representatives of many other organisations attended in a personal capacity.
The success of the symposium in addressing some of the many opportunities and challenges which face women in the Himalayas was largely due to the quality of the inputs provided by the academic experts and development professionals.