Government of Nepal entrusted the following tasks to the Department of Women and Children on its establishment:

  • implement the approved programme on women's development;
  • assist the Ministry in formulating policy and legislation on women's development;
  • monitor and evaluate programmes on women's development;
  • impart the necessary skill training to women;
  • carry out functions related to women's empowerment;
  • carry out functions related to controlling trafficking in girls, prostitution, domestic violence and other offences against women;
  • carry out functions related to national or international seminars, symposia and conferences on women; and
  • collect and publish information on women's development.

Three years later, on 21 July 2003, Government of Nepal designated the Women Development Office as district focal agency in matters concerning women, children, senior citizens, persons with disabilities and NGOs. Further, on 16 September 2004, it approved the Mainstreaming Gender and Child Rights Guidelines (District Level), enabling the focal agency to effectively assume its role. The name of the Department was also changed from 'Department of Women Development' to 'Department of Women and Children' on 28 September 2010. District offices were renamed likewise. With the change of name came a more direct responsibility for ensuring the enjoyment of child rights.

This has broadened the original scope of work of the Department and so has the focal-agency role of its district offices in addressing gender issues and those of specific groups at local level.

Alternatively, empowerment of women, advancement of child rights and mainstreaming gender concerns are the three areas of the departmental activity.