A two days training on “Feminist Approaches to Action Research: Transformational Dimensions” was conducted on 13-14 February, 2022 at Kathmandu. The training event was a capacity building initiative within the IDRC funded project “Economic Empowerment of Women through Forest Solutions”. The training was attended by 20 participants from ForestAction Nepal, HIMAWANTI, AFFON, FenFIT and SIAS. The key objective of the training was to develop understanding and internalizing feminist epistemology in women economic empowerment (WEE). The training comprised of eight sessions.
Dr. Bimala Rai Paudyal, Member of the National Assembly, was the key note speaker in the event and delivered her speech on- addressing women economic empowerment by national development plans. She shared that the women economic empowerment is a pre-condition for poverty eradication and inclusive growth. She explained by WEE components are embedded in the Constitution of Nepal, Development plans and Sustainable Development Goals. She informed the participants about affirmative measures adopted by government to promote women economic empowerment. She highlighted that property right, descent, participation and justice as the pillars of women empowerment.
The session on Feminist Epistemology was presented by Prof. Dr. Mira Mishra. She explained the theoretical perspective of feminist epistemology- Liberal, Marxist and Radical. She briefly shared the historical developments in the feminist theories starting from 1960s when the women’s experiences were largely omitted, distorted and trivialized in the knowledge production system. She further shared the key methods in feminist research as: feminist standpoint, intersectionality perspective and reflectivity.
Third session focused on the climate and pandemic resilience and its impacts on women economic empowerment. The session was undertaken by Ms. Srijana Shrestha, Under Secretary, Ministry of Forests and Environment. She explained how climate change affects the women disproportionally. She explained that the socialization, stereotypes, implicit bias, gender privilege and marginalization as factors hindering women empowerment.
Ms. Sabita Dhakhwa, trained the participants on scopes for forest based enterprise- women in timber. She shared several policy provisions related to forest based enterprises. She described the MED model and its significance in enterprise development. She shared opportunities and constraints for women led timber business. Ms. Manorama Adhikari trained the participants on GESI integrated monitoring, evaluation and learning. Project monitoring indicators were revisited during her session.
Ms. Kanchan Lama enlightened the participants through transformative approaches to women’s leadership. Giving example of transformational leaders at national and global level, Ms. Lama inspired the participants to adopt transformative approaches to women’s economic empowerment.
Two session were focused on research methods. Dr. Mani Ram Banjade, took session on research methods and tools. He explained about philosophical basis for knowledge generation. Different theoretical perspectives and research paradigms were discussed. He shared the differences and significances of constructivism, positivism and pragmatism. The importance of qualitative and quantitative methods was discussed. Dr. Naya Sharma Paudel trained the participants on the theory and practices of action research. He explained about the key elements of action research, forest policy actor landscape and critical perspective adopted in action researches.
The training closed after the Institutional heads of the Consortium Partner’s expressed their opinion.