8th March (Nepal) 

8th March (Nepal)

The theme of 2023 Women’s International day is “DigitAll Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality” and alignment issues. This can be prioritized on the status of women. The theme also talks about "Embracing Equity" which recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome. Equity means give everyone what they need to be successful. If  everyone is given the exact same thing expecting that it will make everyone equal and  assumes that everyone started out from the same place, it  can be vastly inaccurate  because every one is not the same. This time the world is challenging everyone  to embrace the equity.



Over the years in Nepal different events have expanded the vision on local and international women’s day and it continues to evolve. There is a need to bring together technologists, innovators, entrepreneurs, gender equality activists to provide an opportunity to highlight the role of all stakeholders in improving access to digital tools.

8th March day is the time to reflect on the progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination   by ordinary women. People do not have equal opportunity, equal background and equal circumstances. Equality also means listening to, sharing and amplifying voices and stories of those who are often unheard and unseen often because of lack of resources. The historical records of many brave women have perished during the struggling phases to transform the system of Nepal. They marched facing all the risks demanding for transforming society and voting rights and for social, cultural and political transformation. The women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist not to any one organization but to the entire collective efforts of all who care about human rights.  

Women and girls should be championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education. The 2023 observance should be promoting women's freedom of expression, experiential learning and exploring the impact of the digital gender gap on widening economic and social inequalities. It should spotlight the importance of protecting the rights of women and girls in digital spaces and addressing online and ICT-facilitated gender-based violence.  Digitally empowered women and girls should be helping people in participating in implementation of good governance in Nepal in order to accelerate the Digital Framework program of Nepal. Women should be aware of the  effective functioning of Telecommunications and regulatory affairs which provides consumer protection, access to information and communication technology resources and infrastructure, and generate revenue to support high quality services at affordable rate in order to support such cause. 

We need women and girls in technology because they can provide a more balanced view to female gender and technology sector issues. Through online groups, women not only need to establish communities that support women's empowerment but also deepen our connections by joining organizations that share our beliefs, goals, and ambitions.



Women can play a key role in innovation. They are good at taking initiatives, establishing stretch goals, have a desire to help others and demonstrate resilience are among the many traits that make women naturally good at innovating. This will help in generating role models in society. Such role models focus on promotion of advancements in digital technologies, which offers immense opportunities to address development and humanitarian challenges. Women and girls should be fully aware of whether financial institutions are closely monitored with representations from women because their well-being is central to innovators, industries and to economy as a whole for sustainable development system. This is also one of the key agenda of 2030 sustainable development goals. A gender responsive approach to innovative technology and education can increase the awareness of women and girls regarding their rights and civic engagement. Bringing women and other marginalized groups into technology results in solutions that are more creative and have greater potential for innovations   that meet women’s needs and promote gender equality. A gender responsive approach to innovation and technology can increase awareness of women and girls regarding their rights.

We need “Feminist Technology” as “Technological Innovations" that would enhance women’s lives through women’s agenda to make them equal and help increase women’s access to and control of technology, and help grassroots organizations use technology to advance women’s and girls’ human rights. Technology needs to be strategically evaluated by examining its impact on the lives of women, regardless of the inventor’s gender.



In Nepal, in many cases one gender is being emphasized in the media, academic and industry sectors, issues that females can identify with, and address remain largely ignored. This will hamper in providing more female related data for better policy decisions. Generation and use of huge volumes of data are redefining our “intelligence” capacity and our social and economic landscapes, spurring new industries, processes and products, and creating significant competitive advantages. Data Driven Innovation for solutions to various problems of Nepal can afflict society and the economy.


Local eco-systems bring different stakeholder groups (e.g., youth, local entrepreneurs, government, venture funds) to innovate, pilot, coordinate, share and scale-up for a common purpose. Bottom-up innovation can produce locally adapted solutions.  For creating responsive government especially during the times of crises, community participation led by women and girls can mobilize faster, act with greater precision, offer socially appropriate responses and feedback, and operate in an environment of accountability and trust. Engagement is required directly with local ecosystems through co-design, facilitation of technology transfer, funding of start-ups, and strengthening of entrepreneurial skills.


Embracing  equity and challenging gender stereotypes, call out discrimination and seek out inclusion collective activation that drives change    from grass roots   action to wide scale momentum.  Forging gender equity is not limited to women solely but  everyone is responsible for economic, cultural, social, and political advancement of women.

Imagine a gender equal Free world, a world that is Gender free of biases, a world that is free from Stereotypes and discriminations and a world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive as a world where difference is valued and celebrated. International women’s day honours the achievements of women and promotes women’s rights. Let us recognize achievements without divisions and regards to national, ethnic, linguistic, culture, economic or political.


Technology and the internet can be a great enabler for girls but a lack of opportunities, skills and a fear of discrimination prevent many from using and creating digital tools and online content. To achieve gender equality, girls and young women need equal access to technology, digital training and to be safe online. AI has become embedded in everyday life around the world, touching how we work, play, purchase and communicate etc.. Year 2022 survey of the UN reveals that 37% of women don’t have access to internet access than men.


Advancement of digital technologies offers immense opportunities to address development and humanitarian challenges. Such movements will certainly accelerate the agenda of the UN 2030 sustainable development goal. 

Female internet users already face a higher number of cybercrime incidents and online harassment while also being at an increased risk of financial data loss, violations of privacy, and security breaches. Together, these factors underscore the importance of designing a cyberspace that is safer, more gender inclusive, and promotes the efforts to close the workforce and gender gap. There is a shortage of knowledgeable and experienced cybersecurity talent that is able to keep pace with the fast rate of digitization and the parallel proliferation of digital risks. This gap can be explained by several factors, including industry perception and culture, societal and family constraints, barriers to entry due to limited digital and cyber literacy, wage gaps, lower earning potential at every level, missed or delayed promotions, and a much harder path to reach the upper echelons of the corporate world — despite often having higher levels of education and certification than men. Women's representation in leadership and decision-making increased to redistribute care-work, productive resources, progress towards a gender equal, and sustainable future starts with acting today.



AI commission

Artificial Intelligence and gender equality are not related , they are actually intimately intertwined. The problem is representation to ensure fair, equal, and democratic Artificial Intelligence. Until AI systems reflect our society in all its diversity, AI will cause more problems than it solves.  Nepal has a Privacy Act,  however, not implemented well due to lack of well documented law.  Data Driven Innovations, Ecosystem, policy regulatory environment, Integration of heterogeneous data across domains is required. Is the Nepal government ready for this?  Without inclusive representation, biased data sets used to  train algorithms perpetuates stereotypes about gender. Unless we incentivize representation in all sectors to increase diversity of the AI workforce, design bias will continue to reproduce these gender stereotypes, as well as stereotypes about others not represented in the AI workforce. An AI commission should be created to propose an AI act. which will work towards minimizing the risk of bias and discrimination. 


Increasing diversity in AI development is crucial to delivering equitable outcomes.  A more diverse workforce is equipped to identify and remove AI biases as they interpret data, test solutions, and make decisions. Gender diversity can benefit AI development. All concerned stakeholders should support STEM education especially in rural sectors to address mentorship opportunities and gender gap in AI, more women can be brought into the AI sector. Human feed data to create the AI Algorithms. These algorithms are biased and the tools they support won't be relevant because there is no proposal representation from women into the system. Women are missing from the equation.  The power of AI lies in its potential to improve lives, but this potential can only be realized if AI represents the entire population.

The Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens has created a national slogan, 'A strong foundation for gender equality: expansion of women's access to creative technologies'. Women's day will be celebrated with the aim of increasing social awareness by organizing creative and creative programs to support economic and social empowerment while ensuring women's access to technology. All agencies of the federal government, seven state governments, district coordination committee federation, municipal federation, rural municipality federation, all 77 district coordination committees, 753 local levels and wards, civil society, social educational and private organizations and all concerned agencies have been asked to celebrate this day in a grand, decent and orderly manner.
Education used to be banned during our mothers, grandmothers and earlier generation's times and their brains were made to believe in god fearing stories from a tender age. They were taught to focus on spending time and money on rituals of worshiping the stone objects called "GODDESS Saraswati". Education and access to property rights for women and girls were banned and innocent masses were compelled to worship stone objects as GODDESS Laxmi. World is going forward with the slogan "embracing equity". How can Nepal progress when our women leaders are mostly "embracing Manu Smriti."? What a damage Manu Smriti had done to our society!! There are people who are still promoting " Manu Smriti " and if they are going to be part of the team in feeding data into the AI system for national policy decisions the outcome will be women biased policy decisions.
The new Nepalese constitution was promulgated after a lot of bloodshed by women too during people's war in the country and has provision moving towards such objectives like embracing equity. Women emerged as winners from the right for 51% claim on the power structures in the governance system of Nepal. This new constitution has given power for women for 33 percent representation in the political power structure. In proportional representation in the electoral right women are gaining experiential learning in practicing leadership in the country. However, different interest groups backed by regional and international influences are now seen intending to diffuse the purpose and derail the peace process. If the current constitution is not implemented well there will be a big chance that women will lose their rights too. The innocent Nepalese mass are not aware of what they are going to lose in the near future. During this 113th women's international day women of Nepal should demand the sustainable model of this constitution.

Regional example: 

IIT Kanpur is way ahead in start-up programs  and innovation in academic circles in India. The right engagement of alumni communities have brought a true problem solving ecosystem among the IIT K community. Such success stories should be analyzed and discussed to encourage Nepalese academia, researchers and start-up communities supported by government, concerned private sectors and local alumni chapters.

Set of questions: 

How can these technologies be used to improve service delivery in the Human Development  sectors and other contributing sectors that help build human capital (agriculture etc.)? In particular, how can these technologies be deployed in a federal context where local levels have limited knowledge, capacity, infrastructure, etc.?

What do they mean for the world of work and for building capacity to adapt technologies and innovate in Nepal’s context, especially in the context of climate change and building back greener and better?

How will voice, agency and empowerment be ensured for women, poor and marginalized communities, in the face of technological dominance by a few actors?

IIT Kanpur is way ahead in startup programs  and innovation in academic circles in India, The right engagement of alumni communities have brought true problem solving ecosystem. 


Defeat in last election

Local and provincial government decision makers are now aware of the impact of using ICT for winning elections. The Nepalese constitution has included sufficient political power for encouraging women candidates, however, most of them lost in the last election. One of the reasons for their defeat is they were not digitally literate. They should be encouraged to adopt AI digital tools in their decision-making activities.

Example of AI use in political decisions

The Romanian government has unveiled "Ion," an artificial intelligence (AI) based platform built to record Romanians' voices and opinions and use them to guide state policy decisions.

Concerned stakeholders

A determined government, a strong private sector, academia, researchers, effective NGOs and vibrant media should be promoted during women's international day. Political will and leadership is critical for generating sustained action for gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. Such digitally encouraged and empowered people should be working towards empowering people to gain access to better healthcare, education, skills and livelihood opportunities through digital literacy and digital tools. National Women Commission(Nepal), Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) groups, Girls in IT (GIT), Mathematical Science Associations, Women's wing of  Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FNCCI), Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), Women’s wing of Nepal's Chamber of Commerce, Women in Science and Technology (WIST), Women in Information Technology (WIIT) , Women Agency Research Nepal(WARN), Dharma Heera Memorial Academy(DHMA), NGOs, INGOS etc should be jointly promoting the agendas. These activities will also help in accelerating the Digital Framework Program of Nepal in the areas of Urban Infrastructure Agriculture, Health, Education, Energy, Tourism, and Finance.   




Experience: Combination of policy makers , innovator, entrepreneur,  and social activist

More than 40 years in ICT

Professor Timila Yami Thapa was educated in Indian Institute of Technology ( B. Tech. Electronic Engineering( 1975 batch), Kanpur, India and M.Sc. from  De Montfort University, Leicestershire, UK 1995 in Information Technology with specialization in Systems Engineering. She also underwent one year of training on Systems and Communication Infrastructure at Philips, Holland sponsored by UNDP. Her service to Nepal is a unique combination of a national-level policy planner, a pioneering educator in Information Technology and Computer Engineering, an industrial administrator, an entrepreneur and a social reformer working for upliftment of women, child-education and youth employment.  She pioneered and initiated new educational programs in Nepal. Her efforts to improve technological infrastructure culminated in the  first ever Computer Engineering program in the history of Nepal at Institute of Engineering under Tribhuvan University, which became the foundation of current growth in engineering and technology in Nepal.


Pioneering Contribution in ICT sector


Considering the political situation and the state of education in 1979, it required significant effort and persuasion of higher administration and ministers to invest in the technological future of Nepal. As a national-level policy planner, I worked for one year as a Member of the ICT Advisory Board under the Prime-minister's office.  As an educational policy planner, I served as a member of the Academic council and the Research Council under   University Grant Commission, Nepal.  I also worked as a governing member of the Nepal Engineering Council for three years. I also served for three years as a member of the advisory board member of Rural Telecommunication Fund Board, Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA). From 1996-08, I was also in charge of looking after promoting the software industry in the Computer Association of Nepal (CAN) where I worked as an executive board member (1996- 1998 ). I am currently also serving as an Immediate Past President, IETE ( Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers, India), Nepal chapter.

As an educator, I served in the Engineering  faculty, Institute of Engineering (IOE)  of Tribhuvan University, Nepal, since 1979 until my retirement (2015) first as a professor in the Electronics and Computer Engineering Department; and later as the Assistant Dean when I managed four state-owned and ten affiliated Engineering colleges. I taught Electronic Engineering courses from 1979 till 1997 and Computer Engineering courses in that department from 1998 till 2015 at Institute of Engineering IOE, under Tribhuvan University. I also worked in Pokhara university for four years designing course-curriculum of BE Software Engineering, Computer Engineering, BCA, BE in Information Technology. I also served as a senate member at Pokhara University. I also worked as a Senate member for two years at Pokhara University. 

I am the owner of a Software company Designco Nepal founded in 1991. That time, well-qualified human resources in the IT area were not available and opening a software company was very difficult due to the lack of resources and the domestic market.

I handled complex software projects of  Himal Cement, Nepal Electricity Authority, Nepal Telecom, Nepal Water Sewerage Corporations(NWSC)  and KUKL, Jyoti Group, etc.

I also initiated the creation of the first IT Park in the history of Nepal organizing a series of interactions with prominent leaders and business people including president of FNCCI. I was a CAN executive committee member then. CAN Infotech exhibition was also organized that also provided more exposure along with the further exposure in the International Software Industry exhibition at Hanover Germany 1996, 1997 and 1999  and I contributed  in formulating  IT policy and initiating IT park. I also convinced the Education ministry and concerned stakeholders to invest in opening Computer Engineering at IOE.

As a social reformer, I have been actively involved in the social work in child education and women’s empowerment by organizing many activities and participating in many organizations. I founded DHMA in 2011 and currently work as Chairperson to promote ICT, child education, empowerment programs for minority groups, especially women, skill development of youth and services for and child education. in Nepal. I am also engaged in other organizations with the major motto of promoting ICTs extensively for empowerment. I worked as Chairperson of Women Agency Research Nepal (2019- 2022), Life member of Women In IT(WIIT), Executive member of senior Professor’s Association, Executive Member of  Senior Citizens Samaj, Nepal. Member of Senior Professional Engineer, CIDC, India. Life member of Management Association Nepal (MAN), Nepal Engineer Association (NEA) and HEADS Nepal, Member of Women in Science and Technology (WIST),  Member of  Women chapter of Chamber of Commerce, Member of AOTs Japan, Member of Mount Everest Rotary club, Member of Lalitpur Cultural Centre.