Peace Corps/Nepal: Integrating gender and caste into an environmental education and awareness workshop

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Washington, DC: WID TECH, USAID

This product is a collaboration between Peace Corps/Nepal and the women in development (WID) volunteer group brought this gender training in Education, Natural Resource Management, Reproductive Health, Youth and Development, and Water and Sanitation. The five sessions address gender and caste perspectives including gender terminology, gender in the project cycle, gender analysis tools, the masculine aspect of gender, gender assessment of environmental education materials, caste perspectives, and human trafficking. The 2001 Human Development Report states Nepal is among the four countries (out of 180) where women have a lower life expectancy than men. (male: 58.3 years; female: 57.8 years). The reasons being; maternal mortality rate is 539 per 100,000 live births, the mean age at first marriage for rural females is 17 and for rural males, it is 21 years, women are responsible for 63 percent agricultural labor, and women average three hours more work per day than men. Infant mortality is 71 per 1,000 live births. The gender gap in literacy rate is among the highest in the world (female literary 28% - male literacy 68%). Discussion around gender included reincarnation to highlight the cultural perceptions on gender. Analysis of environmental curriculums involved discussions on access to education, and the need to improve opportunities for girls and the lower castes. Conversations around the theme of masculinities highlighted the cultural expectations and its implications on behaviors and attitudes. Caste discussion reflected the significant changes happening for the last 20 years, participants have shared that they have broken the caste system barriers by offering food or accepting food from lower caste members. Training feedback reflected the need for more practical discussion of issues, handouts in Nepali language, and better connection between gender caste and environmental education.

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Gender, Wid, Peace Corps, Nepal, Caste, Gender terminology, Gender in the project cycle, Gender analysis tools, The masculine aspect of gender, Gender assessment of environmental education materials, Caste perspectives, Human trafficking