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UNMIN: Naya Adhyaya - Women of Nepal

Dedicated to women and girls across Nepal, to their hopes and dreams of achieving equality, and to findingvoice among a new generation of leadership.

A New chapter - Women in Nepal

This book reflects the collective determination of Nepali women to foster a culture of equality. Its images, along with the words of women and men from the community, are inspired by Naya Adhyaya, a pre-election street drama that was performed across Nepal by the Sarwanam theatre group.

By raising awareness of the importance of women's involvement in the peace process, the play encouraged women's participation at all levels of decision-making. The book draws on two distinct themes.

Firstly, the struggles that must be overcome by Bina, the ostracised widow who is the play's central character. And secondly, the unprecedented participation of women in Nepal's 10 April 2008 Constituent Assembly election.

Naya Adhyaya was jointly developed by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) and Sarwanam.

Launched with the objective to mobilise local communities around issues of concern to women, it sparked debate wherever it was performed. Street theatre is very popular among rural and semi-rural communities in Nepal and this medium was selected as an effective way to deliver the key messages of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which requires parties in a conflict to respect women's rights and support their participation in peace negotiations as well as post-conflict reconstruction.

Starting in the Far-West in November 2007 Naya Adhyaya was performed in 14 districts across Nepal, reaching an estimated audience of 8,800 people. The street drama transfixed audiences, and its success is testimony to the drive of Nepali women to develop a new perspective, to foster change and to make the most of new opportunities. In a second, post-election, phase, Sarwanam performed the play again in April and May 2008 in a further 17 districts around the country, supported by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).

This book has been produced in both Nepali and English. The Nepali version is aimed at reaching leaders of Nepal, who are responsible for drafting the new Constitution, as well as the many women's advocacy groups. The English version is intended to inspire members of the international community to continue to support women and their contribution to Nepal.

United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 is a key advocacy tool used by the Government of Nepal, civil society and the international community to promote women's participation in the peace process. UNSCR 1325 was the first resolution in United Nations history to specifically recognise the impact of armed conflict on women and girls. It also acknowledges their significant contribution to conflict resolution and peacebuilding and addresses specific needs regarding constitutions, electoral systems, police and judiciary. UNSCR 1325 sets out key recommendations, including to ensure the participation of women in the promotion and maintenance of peace.


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Source: UNMIN
Naya Adhyaya: Women of Nepal
Dedicated to women and girls across Nepal, to their hopes and dreams of achieving equality, and to findingvoice among a new generation of leadership
Published in English and Nepali (Nepali fonts needed)
Source: UNMIN 2008

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