Women Friendly Disaster Management (WFDM), a women’s Network committed to feminist principles and women’s human rights, calls on the Government of Nepal to recall and act in accordance with human rights standards in their response to COVID-19.
They also called to uphold the principles of equality and non-discrimination, foregrounding the needs and interests of the most marginalized people -- women, children, elderly, people with disabilities, rural women, LGBTIQ+, sex workers, those in the informal economy refugees, migrants, indigenous peoples, and people without identity documents.
In a press release issued by the Chapter, the charter says that it is critical that the COVID-19 response does not exacerbate their vulnerabilities or magnify existing inequalities. The following areas of focus are to be considered in the context of the COVID-19 crisis which includes 3 major priorities:
Chairperson of the group Chandni Joshi on behalf of the organization submitted Charter of demand to coordinator of Hihg-Level Committee and Deputy Prime Minister Ishwor Pokharel and chief ministers of all seven states.
The charter demands highlights sectors of immediate priorities, short term priorities and long term priorities.
They demands to ensure access to timely, accurate and regular risk communication information in multiple languages, recognize specific needs of women healthcare workers, increase access to COVID-19 testing, ensure access to water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter services and to ensure immediate and accessible transportation facility for daily wage workers stranded in different locations in the country under immediate priorities.
Under short term priorities, the group demands Short term priorities to address the increasing care burden on women, response to gender-based violence against women/girls, people with disability and LGBTIQ+, expand social protection measures to reduce the impact on women and excluded groups facing a loss of livelihoods, ensure job security and paid leave for of immune compromised, pregnant and lactating women health workers, ensure food security of most vulnerable households, including female headed households, ensure availability and access to health services including sexual and reproductive health (SRH), to extend additional support to women migrant workers, increased participation and representation of women’s organizations in coordination mechanisms and participation of women in highly level commission formulated on COVID-19.
Under the long term priorities, the group demands to promote women’s economic security and rights as part of Early Recovery Efforts , support women’s networks and community-based organizations Work ,ensure women’s leadership and representation in response and recovery decision making and significantly increase public provisioning for essential services and infrastructure
WFDM Group is a loose network of women-led organizations, formed immediately after the 2015 earthquake with support from UN Women. The networks includes Women Friendly Disaster Management (WFDM) group, The Inter-Generational Feminist Thought Leaders’ Group and Women Humanitarian and Disaster Risk Reduction Platform.
WFDM was formed with a vision to engender policies formulated and implemented on DRR, preparedness and response, and its mission is to enhance women's knowledge, attitude and practice in DRR and preparedness. WFDM includes a group of women led organizations having extensive experience in implementing projects focusing on women's empowerment, inclusion, rights of single women, Dalit women, women from LGBTI communities, women with disabilities, women's legal rights and media.
WFDM members include Beyond Beijing Committee (BBC), Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO), and Forum for Women, Law, and Development (FWLD), Home Net South Asia, Jagaran Nepal, SAATHI, Women for Human Rights (WHR)-single women's group, Blue Diamond Society (BDS), Disability Human Rights Promotion Society Nepal & Media Advocacy Group (MAG) and SAARC Business Association of Home Based Workers (SABHA). Through its member organizations and networks, the WFDM is represented across all seven provinces.