Background - Issue and Gaps
During the COVID19 pandemic, youth unemployment and gender-based violence (GBV) have become major issues. It has been causing simultaneous health and socioeconomic suffering all over the world. Since the outbreak, reports of violence against women and girls, mostly domestic violence, have increased in many countries. Globally, these groups in particular are facing a greater risk from this pandemic, as they are systematically disadvantaged and often suppressed by poverty, violence, inequality, and marginalization. Nepal is not an exception. Fear of COVID, restricted mobility and reduced availability of public services during COVID have further trapped women and girls at home with abusers and intensified the risk of GBV. The types of violence during the lockdown period included social violence, rape, attempted rape, murder, suicide, sexual misconduct, and cybercrime.
Another group that has been affected by COVID is youth. Millions of youths around the world are coping with job loss caused by the pandemic. Whether it's temporary or permanent, unemployment can lead to stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges. Uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic only adds to the anguish. Nepali youth account for 40% of the country's total population and out of 400,000 youth that enter the job market every year, only 5% find employment. This has been significantly worsened by COVID-19 which is now not only a global health crisis, but also a crisis of global economic recession. Nepal’s projected pre-COVID-19 GDP growth rate of 8.5 percent will plunge to well below 2.5 percent in 2019-2020. It is therefore urgent that we begin to prepare for a post-pandemic Nepal to provide employment and social protection to mitigate the devastating socio-economic impact.
Most development interventions for reducing GBV focus on socio-political empowerment of women. Similarly, most development interventions targeted at reducing youth unemployment focus on either preparing the youth for migration or supporting domestic youth with self-employment support. These are all extremely important interventions. The large gap seems to be in the socio-economic empowerment of women and their families so that they are economically independent, gain their agency and freedom and are able to make financial decisions and so that the families can support the women more coherently in her challenging path to socio-economic freedom.
The Empowering Rural Women Micro-enterprises to Create Jobs and Reduce Gender-based Violence project aims to enable rural women entrepreneurs to grow their local innovations, create jobs and empower their communities. The project is based on the following theory of change: if business innovation and leadership capacities of women microenterprises are enhanced through contextualized capacity , they will achieve business growth by increasing related income and employment because women will be socio-economically empowered and their enterprises will be investable and market ready. If women along with their families are empowered, women can achieve socio-economic freedom with the support of those people around, that will eventually help them to be financially independent.
For more detail info please read this blog - https://dhanayogafoundation.org/blogs/women-empowerment-blog