Dr. Sheela Suryanarayanan, Associate Professor, Centre for Women’s Studies, University of Hyderabad was invited to speak on ‘Feminist Development Policy’ (FDP) in Kathmandu at a Returning Expert event organised by The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) from 19-20 May 2023 at the conference hall, Soaltee Hotel, Kathmandu.

FDP has recently been adopted as a policy by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to eliminate discriminatory structures – for women and girls, and also for marginalised groups. The policy is important since it talks about persisting inequalities and discrimination against women and girls as the largest disadvantaged group of population and LGBTQI+ persons as a consequence of patriarchal power structure. Dr. Sheela Suryanarayanan explained the manifestation of discrimination against women and girls in educational attainment, workforce participation, violence, political participation and son preference resulting in missing girls, using case studies in the context of India. She also discussed the achievements of policies in India that focus on gender equality as well as its limitations.

Indo-Nepal team of Returning Experts – GIZ

The BMZ adopts ‘three Rs’ to reduce existing inequalities and address stereotypes. The First R-Realising Rights, aims to eliminate discriminatory laws and achieve legal empowerment and equal opportunities for women, girls and LGBTQI+ persons in all areas of life. The Second R-Resource, recognizes the need of adequate access to and control over resources such as land ownership, finance and service. The Third R-Representation, aims to strengthen equal participation and representation of women and girls and marginalized groups in various institutions and decision-making processes. Dr. Sheela Suryanarayanan identified the ‘three Rs’ (Rights, Resource and Representation) as an important methodological approach and linked it with the existing concept of transformative agency to develop a methodological tool to measure women’s empowerment and its intersectionalities.