Acceptance speech of Right Honourable President Mrs. Bidya Devi Bhandari following the presentation of the 2022 WPL Trailblazer Award at Reykjavík Global Forum – Women Leaders
Reykjavik, Iceland, 09 November 2022
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I would like to thank Women Political Leaders for presenting me with this prestigious WPL Trailblazer Award 2022. I feel deeply honoured.
In this important Forum, I can see women and girls in all their diversity; women who have broken the barriers and are inspiration for others around the world.
To be awarded in this Forum is a matter of great satisfaction and has added a greater sense of responsibility on me.
I commend WPL for creating an ecosystem of women leaders across the sectors. This is truly a mission to build a ‘society where no one is left behind.’
As elsewhere in the world, we in Nepal also have our share of struggle for gender equality and participation of women.
Our constitution today ensures at least one-third representation of women in the national parliament.
Of the over thirty-five thousand elected representatives in local governments, forty-one percent are women.
We have achieved gender parity among school-going children. Today, 98 percent of children, girls and boys go to school.
We have also been able to make significant progress in reducing maternal and child mortality, enhance women’s participation in civil service, security agencies, cooperatives and private institutions.
We are aware that there is a long way to go. And we are making sincere efforts to rectify the shortcomings and overcome the challenges.
Nepal’s achievement so far in gender empowerment and inclusion is an outcome of our long and collective struggle. This has truly been a relay race of thousands of women passing the baton from one generation to the next.
I consider this Award as a recognition of this struggle of my fellow sisters, mothers and daughters and accept this with all humility.
I thank you!