Ensuring the Inclusion of Women in Nepal's Emerging Democracy: Developing Women's Saving and Credit Cooperatives as Schools of Democracy
CCA and CMF agreed to implement and manage the Project as per the goal, purpose and activities outlined below on February, 2007 effective from March, 2006 through February, 2007. Now the Project has been extended to May 30, 2009. The project output of increased understanding and engagement of Nepali society in the democratic process will be achieved through the strategy of using local co-operatives (with their focus on education, leadership and democratic process) as a practical and credible means to educate the broader community on democratic development.
The approach and the use of local level organizations (co-operatives) takes into account the communities' level of understanding while educating them on election processes. Given the low level of literacy in villages and the complexity of the subject matter, traditional methods of awareness-raising, such as training sessions, mass campaigns, print materials, etc. are likely to prove insufficient. In order to bring a real and tangible awareness of the issue, people must receive a practical, interactive and sustained exchange of knowledge and information. Having previous experience with methodologies for reaching semi-literate and illiterate people, co-operative members, who belong to the community and interact with community members on a daily basis, can become very effective in delivering civic education.
Direct beneficiaries of the Project are 20,608 members of the 50 SCCSLs. Indirect beneficiaries include their husbands, the rest of their families, and their communities. A conservative estimate of the indirect reach of this project is over 70,000 people in 22 districts.
Enhanced and informed participation by all sections of Nepali society, particularly women and socially-excluded, in ongoing democratic processes leading to the election of a socially-inclusive constituent assembly and drafting of a new constitution
Major objectives of the Project are to provide civic education on the ongoing democratic processes through women's savings and credit co-operatives, leading to increased understanding of the election of the constituent assembly and drafting of the new constitution, and increased confidence of women, especially those socially-excluded, to participate in informed debate.
4. Expected Results
- The election of a socially-inclusive constituent assembly.
- Participation of all sections of Nepali society in the drafting of a new constitution.
- Increased access by Nepalese, particularly women and the socially excluded, to accurate information related to the upcoming Constituent Assembly elections, including its mandate, procedures and membership.
- Increased awareness and ability of Nepalese, particularly women and the socially excluded, to participate in informed debate related to democracy and constitutional issues.
- Nepalese, particularly women and the socially excluded, have increased understanding of and participation in the development of fair electoral practices.
1.1 Increased ability of women members of savings and credit co-operatives to train other members in the Constituent Assembly elections.
1.2 Increased understanding of the process for Constituent Assembly elections.
2.1 Increased understanding of constitutional issues that affect the women co-operative members.
2.2 Increased confidence of women members in participating in debates.
2.3 Members relate the development of the country's constitution with the development of their co-operative's bylaws.
2.4 Members relate their co-operative's democratic processes with the development of the new governments.
5. Project Funding Partners: CIDA, CCA and CMF