This report presents the findings of a qualitative exploration of the degree to which Nepal’s trail bridge programme contributes to changes in gender relations. It includes a review of policy and legal framework and the literature pertaining to gender relations and trail bridges, noting that there are many positive provisions.
The study then focuses on how such guidelines are translated into practice in the field, taking nine short span trail bridges and one long span trail bridge as case studies. The findings are discussed by taking in turn seven drivers of women’s economic empowerment, and assessing the degree to which they are fulfilled. Overall, the study found that field practice tends to lag behind the intentions of the responsive legal provisions. Key suggestions are that the time constraints imposed on women by unpaid care work should be recognised and addressed, and that far greater emphasis is given to the facilitation of social processes to transform gender relation in users’ committees. In addition, disadvantaged women should be given more concerted support to maximise their income from wage labour through avoiding debt, undertaking skills training to be eligible for better wages, and transforming wages into assets. Finally, opportunities to learn and share from other users’ committee experiences at local level should be deepened and greater coordination between technical and social bodies fostered at district level.
This project is funded by DFID under the Applied Research on Rural Roads and Transport Services through Community Access Programmes in Africa and Asia (AFCAP2 and AsCAP)
Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation Nepal (2017). Transforming gender relations in the trail bridge programme in Nepal: an analysis of policies and practices - Final report. London: ReCAP for DFID.