Challenging The Customary Divide : Strengthening Implementation of the women, Peace and Security Agenda in Nepal

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Nepal’s Comprehensive Peace Accord, which ended ten years of armed conflict in the country, created avenues for the foundation of sustainable peace. Within this backdrop, the Government of Finland and UN Women-Nepal, together with local partners, international development organizations and UN agencies committed to collaborate and support the Government of Nepal GoN) in the effective implementation of its first National Action Plan (NAP) for United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820, which was adopted in 2011. Thus, in 2013, the Government of Finland supported UN Women-Nepal in implementing the project, Strengthening Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Nepal (SIWPSAN): Towards Implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) on UNSCRs 1325 and 1820. The project emphasized women’s participation and the inclusion of gender perspective in all aspects of peace building; ensuring that the special needs and priorities of conflictaffected women were considered in the state buildingprocess; recognizing sexual violence as a component of the crimes committed during the conflict; and upholding international obligations to end impunity. It was implemented by UN Women-Nepal and the aforementioned partners in the the districts of Bajhang, Doti and Kailali in the Far Western Development Region of Nepal. The implementation of the SIWPSAN project demonstrated that transformative changes in the lives of women and their families are achievable when broad, multi-pronged approaches focusing on both women’s agency and structural factors simultaneously. It showed that enhancement of women’s capacity to exercise their active agency through economic and social empowerment and promotion of their leadership and participation in decision-making structures - combined with an enabling environment for their participation in peace building to address their protection, prevention, relief and recovery rights – deliver life-changing results that are enduring.