Opening Remarks by Hon. Sujata Koirala, Former Deputy prime Minister, Member of Central Working Committee of the Nepali Congress Party at the ICAPP Special Conference on ‘Women’s Leadership and Empowerment’ in Seoul, Korea, on February 24, 2021.

May be an image of 6 people and text that says "Special Video Conference of the ICAPP Women's Wing "Women's Empowerment During and After COVID-19" ICAPP Online Conference via Zoom Wed. 24 February 2021, 6 a.m. GMT Founder of the ICAPP Co-Chairperson Keynote Speaker UN Hon. Jose de Venecia Jr. Co-Chairman Committee, Former Speake House Representatives, Philippines Sujata Koirala Nepali Congress Forer Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Maria Holtsberg Advisor and Disasfer Nepal Ofice Moderator Regional Pacific Co-Chairperson Keynote Speaker UNESCAP Hon. Cho Byung-jae Hon Dr. Nalinee Taveesin Member Party, Former Ambassador Republic Myanmar Chancellor Korea National Representative, Former Attached Prime Ministers Office Chief Gender Equality Social Inclusion Division, UNESCAP"


Chair of the program,


Fellow delegates,

Distinguished participants,


It is a great pleasure to join the Special Conference of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) on Women Empowerment.


As we prepare to deliberate the empowerment and advancement of women in the wake of covid19, it is unfortunate that women have continued to be the worst victims, being forced into servitude through violence and coercion against their will. Reports speak from around the world that another pandemic was in the making during the covid19 that is the domestic violence against women.  Women have been its worst victims, bearing the brunt of pandemic’s impact. Women face great obstacles be it at home, workplace or society or politics or in the economy.  The ICAPP concept paper circulated also acknowledges that domestic violence against women has risen during the pandemic. This has further compounded their social and economic distresses.


Investing in women’s education and health is investing in the future of nations. We need to create job opportunities, overcome inadequate education, vulnerable working conditions, and insufficient government attention to them.  We in ICAPP need to work with our respective governments to mobilize resources and make them available to women through appropriate mechanisms in a transparent and accountable manner. We should ensure economic independence for women to improve their educational base, health, legal, economic and political opportunities.


Women have gone through the denial of dignity, drift, lack of opportunity and hope. Women are the future of any nation. They can be innovators, and leaders of tomorrow. Women should be recognized as a critical resource for national development, socio-economic and political transformation, national integration, and technological innovation. We must listen to them, learn from them, empower them with good education, invest appropriately and adequately in building knowledge and human capital in women, and integrate them into the mainstream of development to make the difference in our society.


Given the diversity in Asia and strength to forge unique unity in vast diversity to unleash the forces of change, Asia is in a position to the guiding force in empowering women. We have the capacity to do it and we have the will to do it. Let us eliminate the practice of interpreting and translating men’s and women’s biological differences to the allocation of rights, resources, and power. All human being equal and possess the same capacity and thinking.


Last but not the least; I would like to conclude with a saying in Nepali culture and tradition: यत्र नार्यस्तु पूज्यन्ते रमन्ते तत्र देवताः meaning where women are honored, gods rejoice there. This has been Nepali tradition and culture. This indicates the place of women in our society. Keeping this tradition in the background, entire humanity should work to promote women’s leadership in politics, empowering them and expanding their participation in national life.


Thank you.

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