EFFORTS ON GENDER BALANCE CAPACITY BUILDING IN GIT
The Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region is among the most discrete and diverse region facing various ecological, environmental and socio-economic threats in terms of increasing demands for natural resources and its consequences in the form of overexploitation, disaster, droughts, extreme weather, and climate change etc. Geospatial information technology (GIT) with Earth observation (EO) data are effectively supporting the implementation of development agendas in HKH by providing extensive solutions to above-pressing issues by not only addressing them but also providing services in daily life. These technologies have effectively bolstered in time via innovation, creating jobs and confidence in people that supports filling the data and knowledge gaps in the region. However, the involvement and participation of women in GIT is mere in the region despite their vital role in environmental management and decision making. Realizing the issue, we acknowledged and implemented the twin challenges i.e. capacity building and gender equality for building the pathways to sustainable development via innovative steps and processes to bridge the gender imbalance in GIT workforce in HKH. For the purpose, we organized various capacity building trainings and workshops with a broad focus towards GIT applications in forest, agriculture, water management, drought and climate change along with the hands-on exercises. In addition, specific women focused training programs i.e. Empowering Nepali Women through Technology Training and Women in GIT were organized during 2017 and 2018 respectively. These efforts delivered optimistic results in terms of building confidence, decision making and more women participation showing an increment of ~5% participation by women in 2017–2018 fiscal year with respect to 2016–2017 fiscal year. In HKH nations with less social parity, the information delivered by this gender mainstreaming effort will have life-changing implications to achieve workforce parity.