The UNI Nepal Liaison Council has just wrapped up an inspiring and fruitful Youth & Women Conference, marking a significant milestone in UNI’s mission to empower youth and women of Nepal. Comprising 21 affiliate organizations and representing over 120,000 workers in the service sector, the Union Nepal Liaison Council has once again shown its commitment to driving positive change.
One of the key outcomes of this conference was the election of new leadership, who will steer the organization’s course for the period of 2023-2027. In an atmosphere charged with enthusiasm and hope, a 20-member youth committee was elected, with Mr. Birjit Rokaya chosen as the President of the Youth Committee. Simultaneously, a 21-member Women Committee was elected, with Mrs. Bhagwati Kumari Thapa at the helm. Their election signifies a step forward in the pursuit of gender equality and youth involvement in Nepal’s labor landscape.
The conference opened with Brother Rajendra Acharya, UNI APRO Regional Secretary, offering his warm congratulations to the newly elected Youth & Women Committees. His opening remarks highlighted the crucial role of UNI Youth in championing the rights of young workers not only in Nepal but throughout the Asia Pacific Region. The issues they aim to address are wide-ranging and impactful, including enhancing job opportunities, establishing workers’ rights and justice within the gig and precarious work sectors, addressing the pressing concerns of climate change, promoting equal opportunities, and tackling mental health challenges. He emphasized the significance of active and meaningful engagement of young people within their respective affiliate trade unions. Such engagement not only enhances the role of youth within the union but also enables the trade union to make valuable investments in organizing young people and women in the trade union movement. He further expressed his optimism that the affiliate unions would continue to prioritize the interests of youth and women in their actions and activities within Nepal.
During the conference, Sister Marta Ochoa, UNI Youth Director, Sister Anjali Badekar, UNI APRO Equal Opportunity Director, and Brother Jayasri Priyala, Director of Finance and the Professional and Managerial group UNI APRO, extended their warm greetings and support to the attendees.
The conference unfolded with a series of thematic panel discussions Sister Sita Lama from GeFONT shone a light on issues related to “Advocating for Gender Equality in Trade Unions,” while Brother Leknath Pokharel, former Youth President of UNI Nepal, spoke about “Youth Engagement for the Future of Trade Unions.” These discussions were a vital part of the event, shedding light on the pressing issues at hand and potential solutions.
Brother Shankar Lamichhane, the President of UNI-NLC, took the lead in guiding the conference. He expressed heartfelt gratitude to the outgoing youth and women committees for their valuable contributions, especially during the challenging times of the COVID-19 crisis, in organizing and strengthening the trade union movement in Nepal. Sister Kamal Neupane gracefully handed over her role to Sister Bhagwati Kumari Khadka, and Brother Pratap, the outgoing Vice President, passed on the youth presidency to Brother Birjit Rokaya. This transition signifies a seamless continuation of the vital work undertaken by the organization.
The conference witnessed an impressive turnout, with more than 120 delegates representing youth and women, all united in their commitment to a brighter future for youth and women in Nepal’s labor force.