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Women Development Society (WODES)

Kathmandu Nepal
May 2011

Grant Description

Although the Peace Agreements of 2006 ended the decade-long official armed conflict between the Maoists, the government and monarchy, and the popular pro-democracy uprising in Nepal, violence has continued to escalate with over one hundred armed groups still operating in the country. Over the course of a few days in March of 2011, three explosions occurred within three different districts. One of these occurred in the Terai region of Nepal when a microbus exploded, severely injuring the passengers inside. Recognizing that women are disproportionately affected by armed violence, Women Development Society (WODES) saw a unique opportunity to address the issue in their region immediately after the explosion. WODES requested funds to begin an awareness-raising campaign on the impacts of the conflict on women, and planned a series of workshops to bring together women’s groups to discuss the violence in Terai and build a network to take a stand against armed violence. WODES also planned to meet with officials from the government and civil society groups to discuss peace strategies and initiate dialogue with the armed forces.

WODES works to promote women’s rights and to create a society that is just, peaceful, and encompasses gender equality.

Impact Report

With UAF funds, WODES hired a temporary program coordinator and initiated an awareness raising campaign in Terai consisting of a series of workshops and advocacy meetings to address the issue of armed violence and discuss its impacts on women. WODES conducted one-on-one meetings with parliamentarians and held meetings with other organizations working in the region. As a result of its activities, WODES had collected valuable recommendations from all involved on how to address the issue. Through its efforts, WODES has expanded its networks and links with government officials, parliamentarians, political parties, journalists, civil society as well as national and international organizations. In their final report they noted that, “From the intervention WODES is receiving positive responses from leaders and organizations that WODES raised the issue of Terai violence for the first time. They realized that the government, parliamentarians and organizations have the responsibilities to work for the end of violence.