Gender Support for Sustainable Rehabilitation


VMLRs benefiting from the gender support

provided by UNIRP

UNIRP has adopted a gender responsive approach to accommodate the needs from a gender perspective in the specific socio-cultural context of Nepal. The initiative intends to address social and gender issues which, otherwise, can impede the socio-economic reintegration of Verified Minors and Late Recruits (VMLRs), females in particular. Accustomed to the egalitarianism and community of the cantonments they now have to reintegrate into traditional and in some cases non receptive families and communities where inter-caste marriage is still a taboo. This programme ensures that women, girls and male participants with gender specific needs have access to comprehensive support and mentoring.

UNIRP has developed and implemented a comprehensive Gender Specific Support Matrix to ensure that no one is excluded from participation in the rehabilitation programme due to gender issues, in particular women. The programme has ensured participation of women (30% of the total VMLRs) through gender-sensitive planning and implementation including women-to-women counselling and gender friendly rehabilitation options.

Gender-Specific Intervention and Support

VMLRs and their immediate dependents receive a range a specific support that includes: Nutritional support for pregnant women and lactating mothers; childcare support in either the existing community based facilities or in training centres; childcare grants and baby food, counselling support and accompaniment to career/psychosocial counselling sessions; transport and accommodation costs; access to reproductive health education for the whole family; issues of male insecurity as well as community based peacebuilding activities. Additional childcare support is offered in the form of maternity and paternity allowances for participants. Female students, who have to study away from home due to various reasons, receive an additional education stipend for a period of two years. Eligibility of the additional stipend is based on detailed individual needs assessment.

Victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) receive medical care, legal, and specialized psychosocial support.

UNIRP works with the Department of Women, Children and Social Welfare and NGOs at the local level to create awareness and sensitise VMLRs, youth from communities and relevant government officials on key gender issues.

Empowerment and Participation

The participation of women in the programme has been a key indicator of success. The programme makes sure that women and men have equal access and full control over their benefits. VMLRs are empowered through skills and education to ensure a decent livelihood through civilian means. Examples of women setting up small businesses such as poultry farming, beauty parlours, grocery and tailoring shops, becoming health workers and midwives, spread a message of positive progress and empowerment. In addition, the specific gender needs of men participants are equally addressed to create an appropriate supportive and positive training environment.

Rehabilitation has offered VMLRs an opportunity to contribute to the peace process by supporting their socioeconomic integration, alongside that of their immediate families.